Whats New — By Sophia LaMonica on September 23, 2011 at 5:20 pm

The Scarlet Macaw, Ara Macao, is a large bird that originates in the humid lowland subtropical rainforests of Central and South America. They eat mainly fruits, seeds, and nuts, and have an average lifespan of 40 years. Until the 1960s, the distribution of Scarlet Macaws included much of Costa Rica, but by 1993, surveys had shown them occupying only 20% of their historic range in the country, with fragmented colonies isolated to only two regions on the Pacific Coast of the country: the Carara Biological Preserve and theĀ  Osa Penninsula, where this dynamic pair was spotted at the Cana Blanca Wildlife Sanctuary. The resplendent Scarlet Macaws have suffered through habitat destruction through deforestation, poaching, and capture for the parrot trade, while the spraying of pesticides by banana export companies also significantly diminished their population. See them for yourself before it’s too late.

Photo courtesy of Flickr: alumroot

Tags: Birds, Costa Rica, Puntarenas, Scarlet Macaws, wildlife