Cuban Macaw or the Cuban Red Macaw
- It is an extinct species of parrot that was native to Cuba and the Isla de la Juventud.
- It was a rather small species of Ara macaw, measuring 45 – 50 cm.
- There are nineteen specimens of the Cuban Macaw in 15 museums in Cuba, Europe and the US.
- The adult male and female birds were identical in their external appearance.
- It had a red, orange, yellow, and white head, and a red, orange, green, brown, and blue body.
- Little is known of its behaviour, but it is reported to have nested in hollow trees, lived in pairs or families, and fed on seeds and fruits.
Causes of Extinction
- It was reasonably common around 1800.
- A pair was kept in the royal menagerie of Schönbrunn Castle, Vienna, from 1760.
- Its extinction was caused by deforestation, hunting for food and for the pet trade.
- It was traded and hunted by Native Americans, and by Europeans after their arrival in the 15th century.
- It had become rare by the mid-19th century due to pressure from hunting, trade, and habitat destruction.
- Hurricanes may also have contributed to its demise.
- The last reliable accounts of the species are from the 1850s on Cuba and 1864 on Isla de la Juventud, but it may have persisted until 1885.