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Rio’s last wild macaw is lonely and looking for love

A blue and yellow macaw zookeeper named Juliet flies outside the enclosure where macaws are bred at BioParque in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. Birds used to fly far. (AP photo / Bruna Prado)

Some claim that she is indulging in forbidden romance. Perhaps loneliness forces her to look for a company at the zoo in Rio de Janeiro.


In any case, the blue and yellow macaw, named Juliet by the zookeeper, is believed to be the only wild bird of its kind left in the Brazilian city where birds once flew far.

Juliet has appeared almost every morning for the past 20 years. She plunges into the zoo’s pen where macaws are bred, and through the fence, grooms it to look like a conjugal visit. Sometimes she just sits down and enjoys the presence of others. She’s quieter — more shy? More shy than her crouching Cham?

According to Neiva Guedes, director of the Environmental Group’s Hyacinth Macaw Institute, the blue and yellow macaws are about 35 years old, and Juliet, a non-spring chicken, should have found a lifelong companion a few years ago. However, Juliet does not join, nest, or have a chick, so at best he is “still dating.”

“They are sociable birds and they don’t like living alone, whether in nature or in captivity. They need companions,” he said, coordinating a project to study macaws in an urban environment. Mr. Guedes said. Juliet said, “I probably feel lonely, so I go to the enclosure for communication and interaction.”

Rio's last wild macaw is lonely and looking for love

On Wednesday, May 5, 2021, a visit to the BioParque aviary in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, will result in a macaw at the top of the walkway. Refauna is participating in the reintroduction of species into protected areas with a view to rebuilding the ecosystem. BioParque that breeds blue and yellow macaws. (AP photo / Bruna Prado)

According to Marcelo Reinganz, a biologist at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, the last sightings of free-flying blue and yellow macaws in Rio, with the exception of Juliet, were in 1818 by Austrian naturalists. Macaw in the city. The lovers featured in the 2011 movie “Rio” are Spix’s macaws that grow wild in different parts of Brazil and may be extinct in the wild.

Bright feathers and noisy help macaws find each other in dense forests, but they are also easier targets for hunters and animal traffickers. They are common throughout other Brazilian states and the Amazon, and it is suspected that Juliet has escaped captivity.

BioParque biologists don’t know if Juliet’s stuffy nose is limited to Romeo in one cage or a small number. They are not even convinced that Juliet is a woman. The sex of macaws is almost impossible to determine visually and requires genetic testing of feathers and blood, or testing of the gonads.

Rio's last wild macaw is lonely and looking for love

The blue and yellow macaws, named Juliet by the zookeeper, will stop outside the enclosure where the captive macaws are kept at BioParque in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. For the past 20 years, every morning, Juliet Macaw has appeared in the breeding grounds. (AP photo / Bruna Prado)

Biologist Angelita Capobianco said in the enclosure that both were merely interferences to satisfy human curiosity and had no scientific purpose. We’re also not thinking of trapping Juliet, who seems to be nutritious, soaring overhead.

“We don’t want to project human emotions. I look at animals and look at them with peace of mind,” Capo Bianco said, and Juliet has never shown any behavior that indicates obstruction, such as persistently poking a fence. I pointed out that.

“Who decides to stay here? I don’t. Go back and forth and the feathers are beautiful.”

After more than a year of COVID-19 quarantine and travel bans, the appeal of roaming without restrictions is obvious to humankind. Macaws are accustomed to flying over 30 kilometers (20 miles) a day, Guedes said.

Last year, BioParque gave the macaw even more space. In a 1,000-square-meter (10,700-square-foot) aviary, fly beside green parrots and golden parakeets to form a technicolor swirl in the air. This is a major upgrade from the previous enclosure, which was about 100 square feet. BioParque was opened to the public in March after the privatization of Rio’s dilapidated zoo and almost 17 months of refurbishment.

Rio's last wild macaw is lonely and looking for love

A blue and yellow macaw named Juliet by the zookeeper, left, on Wednesday, May 5, 2021, at Bio Parque in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, raising captive macaws. Juliet plunges into the enclosure every morning for the past 20 years. Then, through the fence, engage in grooming behavior that looks like a couple’s macaw. (AP photo / Bruna Prado)

BioParque aims to showcase species related to research programs at universities and research institutes. One such initiative is Refauna. It will reintroduce the species into the protected area with a view to rebuilding the ecosystem and work with BioParque to begin breeding blue and yellow macaws.

The plan is for parents to raise about 20 chicks and receive training on forest food sources, predator hazards, and power line avoidance. The young people are then released into Rio’s vast Tijuca Forest National Park. Juliet was witnessed there and is believed to sleep every night.

“Their role may be important from an ecosystem and reforestation perspective. It’s a large animal with a large beak that can crack the largest species, not all birds,” Refauna said. Rheingantz, a university biologist who is also a technology coordinator, said. “The idea is to start dispersing those seeds and complement the forest animals that can’t.”

  • Rio's last wild macaw is lonely and looking for love

    A pair of macaws perching on a rope in a BioParque enclosure in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. The sex of macaws is almost impossible to determine visually and requires genetic testing of feathers and blood, or laparoscopy. Of Gonado. (AP photo / Bruna Prado)

  • Rio's last wild macaw is lonely and looking for love

    Macaws are flying in the BioParque enclosure in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. Macaws are accustomed to flying over 30km or about 18 miles a day. (AP photo / Bruna Prado)

  • Rio's last wild macaw is lonely and looking for love

    Children will visit the BioParque aviary in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. BioParque was opened to the public in March after the privatization of Rio’s dilapidated zoo and almost 17 months of refurbishment. (AP photo / Bruna Prado)

  • Rio's last wild macaw is lonely and looking for love

    Blue and yellow macaws care for red and green macaws in the BioParque enclosure in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. A aviary of square meters (10,700 square feet). (AP photo / Bruna Prado)

  • Rio's last wild macaw is lonely and looking for love

    A blue and yellow macaw perched on a branch outside the enclosure where a zookeeper named Juliet, a zookeeper, keeps a zookeeper at BioParque in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. In a Brazilian city where birds once flew far. (AP photo / Bruna Prado)

After a pandemic delay, the project resumed slowly, with Reinganz planning to release blue and yellow macaws into Tijuka Park by the end of 2022.

After 20 years of relative loneliness, Juliet has a chance to fly with his friends. Neves said Juliet could teach them how to navigate the forest, or even find her own love.


Brazil receives a pair of scarlet macaws from Germany


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Rio’s last wild macaw is lonely and looking for love

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