Still easily distinguishable even in the lush, green rainforest background of our image, decorated with mostly lime green and accented aqua blue flight feathers and small details of red plumage on their crowns and tails, the Military Macaw is a visual delicacy. Brilliant and kaleidoscopic, this stunning bird is also under attack in the wild - a victim of its own beauty, falling prey to a booming exotic pet trade, and a decades-long fight with rampant habitat loss.
The Military Macaw has been listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species for over 25 years, since 1994 and Endangered under the US Endangered Species Act since 2015. According to BirdLife International - the Macaw’s most recent assessor - its population continues to decline at an alarmingly rapid rate. They justify their trend prediction on the rate at which it is losing its habitat and the exceeding demand in international trade. In Western Mexico, previously one of the Macaw’s ancestral habitats, it is already extinct.