Heartbreaking News: The Blue Parrot From 'Rio' Movie Is Now Extinct

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The blue Spix’s macaw gained popularity worldwide through the animated movie Rio that was released in 2011.

Heartbreaking News: The Blue Parrot From 'Rio' Movie Is Now Extinct

The blue Spix’s macaw gained popularity worldwide through the animated movie Rio that was released in 2011. It's a story about a charming macaw named Blu who travels thousands of miles to find the last living female of his species. The two ultimately fall in love and have children. While the film has a happy ending, in reality, Spix’s macaws have been considered extinct since 2000.


Take a look at the story of the blue macaws’ extinction and see what steps we can take to bring this wonderful species back to life.


The Spix’s macaw, also referred to as the small blue macaw, is an endemic Brazilian parrot which discovered in 1819 by a naturalist from Germany by the name of Johann Baptist Ritter von Spix. Those birds were already considered rare at the time of their discovery. Just a few people were lucky enough to see them in the wild.


Heartbreaking News: The Blue Parrot From 'Rio' Movie Is Now Extinct

© birdlife_insta / Instagram © 20th Century Fox


We do not know much about the life of these birds, there are very few photos of them taken in the wild and few facts mentioned in ornithological literature. In the mid-20th century, the species was considered extinct, until there were three birds were spotted again in 1986. The last individual in the wild was spotted in October 2000, according to experts.


Most bird extinctions of the recent centuries have occurred on isolated islands. However, today we observe severe extinctions on the continents as well. It all happens due to the catastrophic impact of human civilization on wild nature. Climate and weather changes, uncontrolled expansion of urban areas, massive deforestation, and illegal trafficking make it more and more difficult for birds and animals to survive.


Heartbreaking News: The Blue Parrot From 'Rio' Movie Is Now Extinct

© 20th Century Fox


The long-term plan of the Brazilian government together with conservation efforts implies reintroducing Spix’s macaws back into the wild by 2021. The main steps to take are:


  • Growing a population of macaws which is large enough to be brought back into wild nature;
  • Developing a suitable habitat in Brazil for a rapid reintegration;Developing a suitable habitat in Brazil for a rapid reintegration;
  • Preparing the local population for further co-existence with the birds by making people aware of the importance of blue macaws for their region and the world in general.


Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation (AWWP) is trying to breed the Spix’s macaws in captivity. Specialists from AWWP have achieved success in breeding those birds starting with only two chicks in 2004.



They work closely with other organizations as part of the Working Group for the Recovery of the Spix’s Macaw, under the coordination of the Brazilian Government. Thanks to the expertise, professionalism, and endless kindness of these people, there is a good chance that one day we will manage to see these mesmerizing birds in the wild again.



Preview photo credit 20th Century Fox, criadourofazendacachoeira / Instagram

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Thinking Humanity: Heartbreaking News: The Blue Parrot From 'Rio' Movie Is Now Extinct
Heartbreaking News: The Blue Parrot From 'Rio' Movie Is Now Extinct
The blue Spix’s macaw gained popularity worldwide through the animated movie Rio that was released in 2011.
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