Macaws are famous for the vibrant colours and patterns of their feathers. They are highly intelligent animals and can live up to 60 years. Their global population size is unknown, but it is estimated at approximately 300 to 400.
The blue-throated macaw has a very small population and is on the verge of extinction in the wild. It is listed on the as critically endangered. The World Parrot Trust has many volunteers and employees working to monitor the nests to protect the chicks from predation.
In recent years, a program has been created to replace the real feathers in traditional indigenous ‘machetero’ headdresses with artificial feathers created from hand-painted palm fronds. The feathers for the headdresses were previously culled from several species of macaw, including the Blue-throated and as many as 10 birds were killed to make one head-piece.