Macaw Feathers Help Preserve Wild Populations

Rosemary Low


Parrot feathers have been used for
centuries for ornamentation by natives
throughout South and Central America.
In Panama , scarlet macaws (Ara
m.acao)- a species now classified as
endangered and placed on Appendix I
of CITES- are traditionally captured
to obtain feathers used in local folk
dances in the central part of the country.
However, the increasing popularity
of the dance in which the feathers are
used has greatly increased the demand.
Capture of macaws, including the
Buffon 's (Ara ambigua), also the less
rare blue and yellow (A. ararauna)
and green-winged (A. chloroptera), has
increased. Most of these must be killed
for their feathers as few are held in
captivity in the region .

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