The most delicate step of the operation will be precisely the moment when the macaws bred in captivity will be released. Thus, it is necessary to train the animal so that it can survive alone. The process involves the capture of Maracanã birds to form groups with the blue macaws to assist in the reintroduction of the species in the habitat.
“The maracanãs still live in the region, are from the same family as the macaw, and have the same habits, both in terms of food and sleeping. They will help the macaws to choose the best places to sleep, rest, reproduce and eat ”, explains Camile Lugarini, veterinarian, environmental analyst at the National Center for Research and Conservation of Wild Birds (Cemave), ICMBio, and coordinator of the PAN.
The first release should occur during the first year, after the birds have adapted to a gigantic enclosure built in the caatinga. As this is an unprecedented action, it is not possible to predict the result, so all reintroduction experiences involving parrots will be taken into account. The idea, at first, is to keep the macaws as close as possible to the place of release, in a more reserved space and without the interference of people. Thus, feeders will be implanted and supplied daily so that the birds get used to the region until they start the migration process.
The second group, made up of 20 individuals, should only be released six months after the first. This time, without the help of the Maracanãs, for the birds to find the macaws that are already in the wild.
To ensure the restoration of the species in the wild, the ICMBio team of specialists will assist in the population growth of birds through controlled reproduction. The third phase of the release schedule will already be with animals that are born at the Breeding Center until 2021. In addition, an agreement with macaw maintainers establishes that all breeding sites send 70% of the chicks that are born annually to Curaçá.
“This is until we see that the population is stable, reproducing and that, in fact, it no longer needs the help of man,” says biologist Ugo Vercillo.