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Military macaws (Ara militaris) are a large species of parrot characterized by their mostly green body with blue and yellow accenting feathers and a red patch of feathers above their beak.  They have eight distinct natives ranges: two in Mexico and six in South America, none are found in Central America. Throughout these fragmented ranges there are three different subspecies of Military Macaw, none of which overlap. The presence of macaws helps boost ecotourism in countries such as Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela.  

Conservation Status:

These macaws are listed as ‘vulnerable’ on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) Red List, with an estimated 2000-7000 mature individuals left in their native habitat. The continuing decline of the species is a result of habitat loss and international trade. Populations in Mexico have seen over 20% decline of their habitat.  

Conservation Efforts:

Conservation efforts have been made to help prevent the species from further decline. The U.S. Endangered Species Act protects Military Macaws from being transported across state lines. In Europe the species is a part of the European Endangered Species Program and education programs focused on Military Macaws have been started in select areas in Mexico. Future conservation goals noted by the IUCN Red List include expanding upon the current breeding programs and reducing habitat loss in nesting areas.  

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