The Student News Site of Dyer County School High School

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The Student News Site of Dyer County School High School

Tribal Media

The Student News Site of Dyer County School High School

Tribal Media

Literary Corner

Disappearing In Guatemala

Disappearing In Guatemala

Ranging at thirty-three inches from its beak to tail, Scarlet Macaws are known for their vivid bright white, red, blue, and yellow colored feathers. Scarlet Macaws are native to southern Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, Eastern Brazil, and Trinidad. These islands are home to many rainforests where the Macaws spend most of their time in large nosy groups settled in high trees near rivers. Scarlet Macaws have loud screeches that can echo throughout a forest. From these rainforests, Macaws feast on a combination of nuts, leaves, berries, and seeds. A Scarlet’s strong bulky beak is perfect for breaking these nuts and seeds. One interesting fact is Macaws can eat fruits that are toxic enough to kill other animals. Some species of scarlet Macaws eat damp soil, which helps to neutralize chemicals in their fruity diet to ease their stomachs. 

 

Diet: Omnivore

Group Name: Flock (usually consist of 10-30 Macaws)

Average life span: 60 years

Weight: 4.5 ounces- 3.75 pounds

Behavior: Talkative, intelligent, and playful. 

 

Less than 20% of this species reproduce. Once Scarlet Macaws reproduce they lay around 1-4 eggs per year, though barely two chicks are lucky enough to survive. This reveals a major problem for the survival rate of this species. A study conducted in 2015-2017 revealed that 8/10 macaws fell into the hands of traffickers resulting in injuries and even death. Macaws are stolen from their habitats and sold on the black markets ranging in prices of $200-$4,000. According to Monabay, “People sell the chicks for the black market…they are illegally sold to private collectors in Guatemala.” It was revealed that 70% of the Scarlet Macaws sold in the black market are found in Guatemala.

 

 In 2015, Guatemala’s vice president, Roxana Baldetti had corrupt allegations resulting from a raid on her home. Investigators found two scarlet Macaws in Baldetti’s home, forcing her to leave the office. As of October 2018, Baldetti was convicted and sentenced to fifteen and a half years in prison. This political case helps spread awareness for treating scarlet Macaws in Guatemala. However, Scarlet Macaws need much more resources and awareness to help stop the declining population. According to the World Parrot Trust, locals are restoring Macaw habitats and providing training and infrastructure for local authorities in hopes of reducing the amount of trafficking taking place. Currently, in Peru, institutions in charge of the control and vigilance of illegal wildlife traffic have strengthened their research. With countries improving awareness of the declining population of Scarlet Macaws, there is hope for a future with millions of safe, healthy, and thriving Macaws.

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About the Contributor
Hannah Baker, Writer
I'm a senior at Dyer County High School. I plan to attend UT Martin after graduation.

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