Blue-throated macaw



The blue-throated macaw, also known as the Caninde macaw or Wagler’s macaw, is a macaw endemic to a small area of north-central Bolivia, known as Los Llanos de Moxos. In 2014 this species was designated by law as a natural patrimony of Bolivia, where it is known as barba azul, which means ‘blue beard’ in Spanish.
Scientific nameAra glaucogularis

Blue-throated macaw

Macaw glaucogularis

Blue-throated Macaw


The Scarlet Macaw (Ara glaucogularis) or Blue-throated Macaw, is a species of bird belonging to the family of Psittacidae. It was not rediscovered until 1992. The humanist Jean de Léry mentions it in his History of a trip made in the land of Brazil in 1578, under the name of canine

The blue-throated macaw the Caninde macaw or Wagler’s macaw


This bird looks superficially like the Scarlet Macaw. It is distinguished by the absence of green coloring on the forehead and the cap replaced by a sky blue shade, the areas of white bare skin around the eyes entirely covered with many blue streaks and especially the blue throat (instead black), coloration much more extensive at this level than black in the Blue Macaw.


The blue-throated macaw is endemic to Bolivia. He lives in a gigantic sparsely populated and difficult to explore area, the flooded savannahs of Beni. Under these conditions, it is difficult to specify the exact distribution of the species. However, the Armonia association, focusing its efforts on this aspect, has more than doubled the number of sites known to host this Macaw and has even discovered a new extension zone located west of the Rio Mamoré and the area distribution history around the city of Trinidad. Despite the distance which separates the two populations, it is not impossible that exchanges take place thanks to a chain of forest islands2.


Among other things, it feeds on the palm mesocarp Attalea and Acrocomia.

Threats and protection

This species is critically endangered. The main threat to it is the illegal trafficking of nestlings and adult birds for the aviary trade, despite official protection both locally and internationally. With the financial support of Cepa and the CDE, those in charge of Armonia are planning to build an ecolodge of the same type as that built for the Ares de Lafresnaye, a structure which would also be a research station for Bolivian academics. Raising the awareness of the inhabitants of small towns and villages present in the distribution area of the Blue-throated Macaw is also a concern of Armonia: information centers, environmental education workshops, and radio programs are envisaged. The aim is also to identify the human problems that contribute to the decline of this macaw and, in cooperation with the inhabitants, to seek short-term solutions to conserve the species.

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