The ‘Rio’ Bird Blue Macaw Parrot, Among 8 Other Species, is Now Officially Extinct, Study Confirms
Blue macaw parrot is now officially extinct. (Photo Credits: GH Neale/Twitter)

The Spix’s macaw achieved onscreen fame in Disney’s movie ‘Rio’ as a parrot named Blu who travels thousands of miles to save his species. But a recent study released this week found that the Brazilian bird is now extinct in the wild. Eight bird species, half of them in Brazil, confirmed extinct or suspected extinct in the report from BirdLife International and the Spix’s macaw is one of them. According to the report, the leading cause of the macaw’s disappearance from its natural habitat is deforestation. Sudan, World's Last Male Northern White Rhino Dead: 7 Animals That Went Extinct in Last Two Decades Courtesy Us!

The species is now considered extinct in the wild, although some of the birds survive in breeding programs. For the first time, extinctions on the mainland are outpacing those on islands, the study says as reported in CNN. BirdLife’s chief scientist and the paper’s lead author, Stuart Butchart said, “Ninety percent of bird extinctions in recent centuries have been of species on islands. 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.” Attractive Species Can go Extinct Faster Compared to Others, Says Research.

While three other bird species named in the study – the Cryptic Treehunter, the Alagoas Foliage-gleaner and the Poo-uli, formerly of Hawaii – have now succumbed to that fight, there is still hope for several bird species that the report reclassifies as Critically Endangered. 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.