Scarlet Macaw Ara macao


Justification of Red List category
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (extent of occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Population justification
The global population is suspected to number 50,000-499,999 mature individuals (Partners in Flight 2022).

Trend justification
In many parts of the range the species is declining or locally extinct as a consequence of habitat loss and trapping pressure (Collar et al. 2020).
Tree cover within the range is lost at a rate of 9% over three generations (Global Forest Watch 2021, using Hansen et al. [2013] data and methods disclosed therein). Considering the species' tolerance of open habitats (Collar et al. 2020), tree cover loss alone may not be driving similar rates of population declines though. The impact of trapping has not been quantified, but is assumed to be substantial given the species' popularity as a pet. Tentatively, population declines are therefore here placed in the band 10-19% over three generations.


The species occurs in humid 'terra firme' forests, deciduous forest, riverine forest, gallery woodland, savanna, clearings with big trees, as well as in mangroves (Collar et al. 2020).


Text account compilers
Hermes, C.

Butchart, S. & Ekstrom, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Species factsheet: Ara macao. Downloaded from on 02/03/2024.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2024) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 02/03/2024.