Spix Macaw Restoration

Brazil

Caatinga is an indigenous word for the semi-arid vegetation only found in Brazil and highly threatened by climate change. It has significant endemic biodiversity and is the natural homeland of the Spix’s (blue) Macaw, a species of parrot which was declared extinct in the wild in October 2000. Now, a global partnership between the Brazilian government and private organisations led by the Association for the Conservation of Threatened Parrots (ACTP) is aiming to bring this bird back from the brink. The first trial population was released in June 2022, and releases will continue for the next 20-years alongside restoration of the native vegetation to provide crucial habitat for the blue macaw population and for the region’s biodiversity in general.

The project ultimately aims to restore 17,000 hectares of natural riparian forest along several rivers in the area. It also aims to develop best practices for alternative land management to mitigate the impacts of grazing on wild vegetation. Local communities will be heavily involved, increasing local income levels via job creation, improving their quality of life and their environmental resilience. Restored areas will help to increase water availability, for people and their crops, as well as providing non-timber products such as fruits and seeds. Funders could choose to fund the entire 17,000 hectare project or a smaller portion, depending on their individual impact goals, but the opportunity to scale this project is huge. Pioneering the restoration of such an unusual ecosystem alongside the recovery of a flagship species like the Spix’s Mccaw makes this a uniquely attractive project to nature-focused funders.

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