Cuban Macaw Ara tricolor


Justification of Red List Category
This species was known from Cuba, but hunting drove the population Extinct. The last reports of the species date from 1885.

Population justification
None remain.

Distribution and population

Ara tricolor was endemic to mainland Cuba, and probably also the Isle of Pines (Walters 1995, Olson and Suárez 2008). There is no evidence for the historical existence of the species, or any other macaw, on Hispaniola (Olson 2005), where it has been erroneously suggested to occur (Wetherbee 1985). The last specimen was collected in 1864 (Bangs and Zappey 1905), with the last reports in 1885 (Lack 1976). At least 19 specimens (Moreno 1992) and three fossils (Olson and Suárez 2008) of the species exist.


It inhabited forest and open habitat with scattered trees and palms (Wiley and Kirwan 2013), requiring trees with large holes for nesting purposes. It probably fed mainly on hard palm seeds, fruits, shoots and buds (Olson and Suárez 2008, Wiley and Kirwan 2013).


Its extinction was caused by hunting for food and felling of nesting trees to capture young birds for pets (Forshaw and Cooper 1989, Wiley and Kirwan 2013).


Text account compilers
Hermes, C.

Brooks, T., Khwaja, N., Mahood, S. & Martin, R.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Ara tricolor. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 16/08/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 16/08/2022.