The Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust recently released two Blue and Gold Macaws as part of its ‘breed and release’ programme of endangered species.
Once found only in the Nariva Wetlands, the species was endangered and close to extinction in T&T due to the destruction of its habitat, “food trees” and trapping for the illegal pet trade. There were only 15 birds left in the wild in 1959
Since the 1990s Trust has released Blue and Gold Macaws back into their natural home, the Nariva Wetlands. These birds are being bred at the Trust and reared by their macaw parents as a part of an ongoing programme. They are raised from hatching to fully-flighted young adults with minimal interaction with people for release into the wild.
There are 315 species of the parrot/macaw family (Psittacidae) in the world. Most of them are found in South America, the Amazon Basin and T&T. Locally, the Blue and Yellow Macaw (Ara ararauna) found mainly in the Nariva Wetlands where their food—palm seeds especially the Moriche Palms and SandBox seeds—can be found.
Thee Red Bellied Macaw (Ara manilata) is found in the Nariva Swamp but mainly in the Aripo Savannah.
Previous releases were the endangered macaws were done in Nariva and central Trinidad.
Some species of this family live 50 to 100 years.