Best Endangered Animal Safaris
Bruce Wheadon / Alamy
Hyacinth Macaw Parrot
Why Endangered: A spectacularly beautiful bird with bright blue plumage and
yellow circles around its eyes, this parrot has been threatened by habitat loss, the devastating
exotic bird trade, and hunting by Indian tribes for its feathers to wear as headdresses.
Best Place to See: The vast Pantanal tropical wetland of west-central Brazil.
The Viewing: Since 1990, when the Hyacinth Macaw Project (a local NGO) was
launched to breed and track the birds, the Pantanal has seen the population rise from 1,500 to
5,000. Today it is the only place on earth where you can see flocks of the birds fly overhead. Stay
at one of two lodges in the Caiman Ecological Refuge, a
working cattle farm and eco resort in the southeastern rim of the Pantanal, famous for the scores
of hyacinth macaw nesting boxes it built.