Everyone who has seen Rio should know that the Spix´s macaw (called Blue macaw in the movie) is an endangered species. But HOW endangered are they?
First off, I´ll give you some facts about the Spix´s macaw, also known as Cyanopsitta spixii.
A Spix´s macaw (I will adress them simply as Spix from now on) are about 55-57 cm long, that´s about 21.5–23.5 in.
They appear in various shades of blue but always have a pale blue head and underparts and darker blue upperparts, wings and tail feathers. The undersite of their wings and tailfeathers are black.
The species was named after the German naturalist Johann Baptist von Spix, who discovered them in 1817 in the Brazilian state of Bahia. They have a very restricted natural habitat because they only nest in the Caraibeira tree.
The parrots are critically endangered and probably extingt in the wild, meaning there is possibly no Spix living in the jungle of Brazil anymore.
Spix´s are endangered due to hunting and trapping, destruction of their natural habitat, capturing and the introduction of the Africanized bee, a breed of bees that kills breeding Spix´s at their nests.
The last 3 birds where captured in 1988.
A single male who paired with a Blue-winged macaw was discovered in 1990. 1995 a captured female got released but disappeared after 7 weeks of living on the wild. In October 200 the last wild male died. The Spix´s macaws possibly became extinct with the death of this bird. Since then no wild Spix´s macaw was seen anymore.
However there are still Spix´s living in captivity. All over the world there are about 85 Spix´s macaws, 73 of them living in an international breeding program. 56 of these birds are living in the Middle East, 2 in Germany, 8 in Spain, and only 7 in Brazil.
33 of the birds in the breeding program were bred in the last 6 years. Most of them were hand raised by special educated staff to prevent a high death rate. Also they all got a uniquely coded ring and a microchip transponder.
So as you can see Spix´s macaws are really endangered, not as bad as shown in the movie, but still.