(Ara tricolor)

  • 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.