Argentina sees 1st wild red-and-green macaw hatchlings in over a century

Buenos Aires, Oct 20 (efe-epa).- A group of red-and-green macaw hatchlings in Argentina’s Ibera National Park – a vast protected area in the northeastern province of Corrientes – are the first members of their species to be born in the wild in that South American country in more than a century.

According to the Rewilding Argentina Foundation, the organization responsible for reintroducing that macaw species (Ara chloropterus) into its natural habitat, the first eggs from a mating pair hatched around one week ago.

Although the parents now are responsible for feeding their offspring, personnel from that organization will closely monitor the process to prevent any problems.

The birth in the wild of these red-and-green macaw hatchlings comes five years after Rewilding Argentina joined with national and provincial authorities to launch a project aimed at reintroducing this species into that 708,000-hectare (2,730-square-mile) national park.

The process is very slow and depends on reintroduced macaws successfully reproducing in the wild.

To that end, private individuals, zoos and animal rescue centers such as Buenos Aires’ Eco Park, the Temaiken Foundation and La Maxima Municipal Biopark in the city of Olavarria (Buenos Aires province) have donated several red-and-green macaws to assist the organization with its mission.

The process of reintroducing captive birds to the wild is not a simple one.

In the case of the red-and-green macaw, a species that mainly inhabits forested regions of northern and central South America, the birds must learn how to fly and orient themselves in the air; find, recognize and consume wild fruit; and avoid predators such as wildcats and foxes.

Even so, several established mating pairs are now soaring through the skies in Corrientes province and even visiting several small towns such as Ituzaingo, Apipe, Loreto and Villa Olivera, according to Rewilding Argentina.

The reintroduction of the red-and-green macaw furthermore will contribute to the recovery of native forests in that region, since by consuming fruit and dispersing seeds that species helps ensure the proper functioning of the ecosystem.

The presence of this majestic bird also can help attract tourists to the recently created Ibera National Park, where several other threatened or endangered species once again can be found in that region’s forests after a lengthy absence. EFE-EPA


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