A new study has found the Spix’s macaw of Brazil has become extinct in the wild. The bird achieved onscreen fame as an animated character in the Disney movie “Rio” as a charming parrot named Blu.
The Spix’s macaw is one of eight bird species, half of them in Brazil, confirmed extinct or suspected extinct in the report from BirdLife International published on Sunday, reports CNN.
But 60 to 80 Spix’s macaws still live in captivity.
Deforestation is a leading cause of the Spix’s macaw’s disappearance from its natural habitat, according to the report.
For the first time, extinctions on the mainland are outpacing those on islands, it said.
“Ninety per cent of bird extinctions in recent centuries have been of species on islands,” said Stuart Butchart, BirdLife’s chief scientist and the paper’s lead author.
“However, our results confirm that there is a growing wave of extinctions sweeping across the continents, driven mainly by habitat loss and degradation from unsustainable agriculture and logging.”
In the 2011 movie, Blu was raised in captivity and travels from Minnesota to Brazil with his owner to repopulate his species with the last wild female of their kind, Jewel.
But the movie was 11 years too late, the study found, as Jewel likely would have died in 2000. (IANS)