June 9, 2009

Lear’s Macaw now listed as endangered

The American Bird Conservancy says Lear's Macaw, a blue parrot found in northeastern Brazil, has been reassessed from critically endangered to endangered.

The drop to the lesser threat category on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources list was a direct result of conservation action, ABC officials said.

The current population of Lear's Macaw is estimated to be 960 birds, up from fewer than 100 birds in 1989, the ABC said in a statement. American Bird Conservancy and its Brazilian partner (the Biodiversities Foundation) have worked to save the macaw's primary nesting and roosting cliffs, and together have purchased and protected nearly 4,000 acres of habitat to help assure the species' survival.

New Zealand's Chatham Petrel was also re-evaluated from critically endangered to endangered.

Unfortunately, the report also uplisted the Hooded Grebe to Endangered, and the newly discovered Gorgeted Puffleg , the Medium Tree-Finch -- one of Darwin's finches from the Galapagos -- and the Palila (a Hawaiian honeycreeper), to critically endangered, the ABC said. A total of 1,227 bird species are now classified as globally threatened with extinction. Of those, 192 are considered critically endangered.