Ten of the Most Endangered Parrot Species

Endangered parrot species are becoming high in number these days. It’s very sad to know that a lot of species of animals including birds are experiencing being close to extinction. All these happen for the same reasons of habitat loss, poaching, and illegal trade. For many of us who loves animal, this is so heartbreaking and all that we can do aside from protecting them is to spread awareness about the value of these species.

Here are the top 10 most endangered parrot species

1. Lear’s Macaw

Named after the well-known poet and illustrator Edward Lear, this Macaw specie could be found in Bahia from Northeastern Brazil. This has been listed as endangered in 2009 by IUCN or the International Union for Conservation of Nature with a current population of 960 birds. Good thing that there are many groups and organizations dedicated to help save the Lear’s Macaw and this includes purchase of 4,000 acres of land to rehabilitate and protect this specie together with other endangered birds, creating programs to spread awareness about the value and background of these birds.

Lears Macaw endangered parrot species

Photo: Joao Quental | Flickr

2. Blue-throated Macaw

This specie originated from Bolivia and a rough estimate of about 73-87 birds are left in the wild which makes them one of the most critically endangered parrot species. Bird Endowment, a US-based organization that is dedicated in helping this specie survive, is currently running breeding programs for these birds and is raising funds to supply next boxes.

BLue-throated macaw

Photo: Ted | Flickr

3. Orange-bellied parrot

This critically endangered parrot specie is native to Australia. As of the current estimate of Birdlife.org, there are only about 49 mature adult parrots living in the wild. It is believed that if these birds are ignored and not placed in proper breeding programs, they will become extinct in less than five years’ time.

orange-bellied parrot

Photo: Michael | Flickr

4. Kakapo

This unique bird is the world’s heaviest parrot. They are flightless due to their weight. These days, they are critically endangered because of new predators in the wild where they originated. These predators include cats, rats, dogs, and other predatory animals.

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From 51 birds in 1995, the Kakapo population increased by 62% making it 85 in 2003. It grows to 131 birds but recently declined to 125 birds. Organizations helping Kakapo increase is hoping to raise more awareness about these unique birds and hopefully help this specie survive for the coming years.


Photo: Via Tsuji | Flickr

5. Sun Conure

This small conure specie native to South America has been decreasing in the wild. An estimate of about 1000 to 2500 birds is left and the number continues to go down.  While popular as house pet, they have been declining due to habitat loss and illegal pet trade.

sun conure

Photo: roger smith | Flickr

6. Hyacinth Macaw

This is the world’s largest parrot and is now being endangered. Right now, BirdLife estimated that the number of this specie left in the wild had drastically went down and that there is about only 4300 mature birds living in their native land. One of the ways of the Brazilian and Bolivian government to control this specie from becoming critically endangered is to control all kinds of exports of this bird.

Hyancinth macaw

Photo: David Ellis | Flickr

7. Spix’s macaw

If you are familiar with the animated movie “Rio”, this story was actually derived from the story of Presley, a Spix’s macaw in the US which was allowed by his pet owner to join a breeding program designed to help preserve this specie.

The Spix’s Macaw is native to Bahia, Brazil and it has been known for some time that they are extinct until few birds was discovered. Right now, they are believed to be extinct in the wild but in captivity, there are about 93 birds left.

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8. Maroon-fronted parrot

This parrot specie originated from Mexico and are now endangered because of habitat loss. Extreme drought is one of the reasons for their decline. In the wild, there are about merely 1000 to 2500 adult birds left and about 3000 population all over the world as estimated by the World Parrot Trust.

maroon-fronted parrot

Photo:  Florin Feneru | Flickr

9. Red-fronted Macaw

This is a small parrot native to Bolivia which is now endangered because of habitat loss and farmers considering them as pest in their crops. As of now, BirdLife estimates that there are only about 670 to 2700 birds living in the wild.

red-fronted macaw

Photo: Fred Langridge | Flickr

10. Buffon’s Macaw

Also known as Great Green Macaw, this bird is native to Central and South America. Now being endangered, bird organizations dedicated to save this specie have estimated that there are only 1000 to 2500 birds living in the wild. Being considered as crop pests and the destruction of their natural habitat leads to the decline of their population.

Buffon's macaw

Photo:  Susanne Nilsson | Flickr

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