Target: President of Brazil Dilma Rousseff
Goal: Remember rare blue Spix’s macaw named Presley and save the rest of his species
Presley is a rare blue Spix’s macaw who died at the age of forty and is thought to be the second-to-last of the remaining wild-born parrots in Brazil. His passing highlights the plight of the Spix’s macaw, whose decimated population is threatened by inbreeding, deforestation, and nonnative species. With the death of Presley, the Brazilian president should not only remember him, but also acknowledge the plight of these magnificent birds.
Presley was found in Colorado when his owner called a vet’s office inquiring about the bird’s health. Mickey Santi, who is a parrot enthusiast, answered the call and immediately found it suspicious. After making a house visit and discovering his poor condition, Presley was rehabilitated for six months and then sent back to Brazil. Presley was originally smuggled out of his native home when the country started cracking down on the illegal wildlife trade. It’s believed that his story inspired the movie Rio, whose protagonist Blu has a similar story to Presley.
It’s believed that these native Brazilian birds are extinct in the wild after decades of wildlife trafficking, deforestation, and the introduction of the Africanized honey bee into their habitat. There are only 100 of these Spix’s macaws remaining in the world and they live in captive breeding programs. Unfortunately, they have such a small population that inbreeding has resulted in some genetic birth defects. Biologists were hoping that Presley could offer some genetic diversity among the parrots, but he left no offspring.
Sign this petition to not only remember his passing, but to promote awareness for the remaining Spix’s macaws. The Brazilian president needs to do all she can to save the species, and that includes funding captive breeding programs and halting deforestation.
Dear President Dilma Rousseff,
As you may know, the passing of Presley has saddened many conservationists, especially those trying to save the Spix’s macaw. Presley was seen as the solution to the population’s problem of inbreeding, as there are only 100 of these birds remaining in captive breeding programs. It’s believed that these birds are extinct in the wild and their decimated numbers are the result of human activity.
I am writing this letter to ask you to remember this bird and do all you can to save the species. This species has been devastated by human beings and it is only right that we find the solution to end the elimination of these birds. I understand that many feel this may be a lost cause, and if no solution is found to save the species I ask that your government should at least provide for the remaining animals and ensure that they are loved and cared for.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Joseph Smith via Wikimedia Commons