Parrot smuggling, legal and illegal has already made extinct two Macaw groups, their numbers are dwindling at an ultra-drastic rate.
Jack Devine, founder and director of the Macaw Landing Foundation, "the Macaws that are captured and transported to Northern Counties, 90% of them die in transport." Eventually they end up in the hands of wealthy owners where living in this type of captivity is devastating for the animal's emotional health.
"In the wild, Macaws live in herds; once they reach maturity they will spend approximately a year searching for a mate, and another year dating before they settle down with their partner. This basic need it suppressed when held in captivity."
Devine recounted the tale of a pair of birds that were given to him who had lived in the same cage for twenty years, when they arrived and were released into the large aviary of parrots, the first thing they did was separate from each other and eventually found mates - twenty-years of being forced to live with someone you're not compatible with.
Macaw Landing Wildlife Refuge is involved in a variety of conservation projects, along with reintroduction projects. Once the birds become healthy enough to be re-released into the wild, their reintroduction is orchestrated. The only project that has been put on hold -- is the Bolivian project. Devine had spent a year in negotiations with the Bolivian government when a group [he did not wish to identify these people] stopped this project in a court of law, for now. Wow. Can you believe these jerks? Devine has other projects where he has been able to reintroduce macaws, he mentioned Costa Rica as an example. On their 30-acre farm the conservationists offer supplemental food to some of the repatriated birds along with existing wild birds because of the drastic loss of habit.
Just found this piece of information on the Internet... perhaps with Evo Morales as president this could change.
March 2000, http://www.abcbirds.org/policy/bc00mar.pdf
"Plan to Introduce Pet Macaws to Bolivian Rainforest Questioned An new initiative to repatriate pet macaws from the U.S. to an area of rain-forest close to La Paz, Bolivia is raising concerns within the bird conservation community. The project aims to establish an ecotourism lodge for visitors who wish to see the parrots flying free in the forest. The Macaw Landing Foundation, which is conducting the project in cooperation with the Bolivian government, plans to build a large aviary, which will help acclimatize the birds prior to their release. The macaws will be provided with supplemental food and one member of each pair will have its wings clipped to ensure they remain close by, at least while the flight feathers re-grow over a period of six months. The reintroduced birds will apparently include four hybrids, as well as globally endangered Blue-throated Macaws which naturally inhabit palm groves in grassland areas, rather than rainforest. The initiative is being questioned by a number of conservation groups including American Bird Conservancy and the Bolivian Fundacion Armonia because pet birds are not likely to adapt to the wild and would be at risk from predation. Contact: Alan Hesse, Armonia, < email@example.com>."
A smaller indoor structure is home to some 12 birds who have lost many of their feathers, feathers that will never grow back again. This happens to the birds due to emotional trauma. The structure is heated where the macaws enjoy each other company. They are very, very sweet, and deeply loved! [The photo of these birds is blurred, I felt uncertain about photographing them, sorry for bad photo.]
To Find out more, or visit this very amazing project in Portland, Oregon:
Blue Throated Macaws from Bolivia/Brazil