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Rio Zoo reproduces bird that is extinct in the wild

It is estimated that one in every eight bird species worldwide is threatened with #extinction.

In #Rio de Janeiro, the #zoo has just taken an important step towards the #conservation of a species that no longer inhabits the forests of the state due to predatory hunting in the 80s.

The park is celebrating the birth of two cubs of black fronted piping guan (Aburria jacutinga), typical birds of the Atlantic Forest. Products of incubation, the little ones have just been integrated into the nursery and can already be seen by visitors.

This is the second time that captive breeding of this species has taken place in the zoo, however, there was an unprecedented feat: for 28 days, the team of biologists followed the artificial incubation of the eggs, since the parents could not do this naturally. Now the chicks have been transferred to their final home, as they are able to fly alone. They have not been named yet, as it is not yet possible to know if they are males or females.

‘Captive breeding is an important factor in animal welfare. Rio Zoo has invested in research and conservation of several species, in addition to environmental education. Present and future generations will be able to preserve once they know the biodiversity of the fauna,’ said Fernando Menezes, park director.

Extinct in the states of Rio de Janeiro, Espírito Santo and Bahia, the black fronted piping guans were restricted to Minas Gerais, São Paulo, Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul.

The birds eat fruits and can weigh up to 1.4 kilos. They stand out for their bright and colourful plumage. The body is predominantly black, or dark brown, and there are white spots on the wings. The beak is a soft light blue. Another characteristic of the species is the red and blue barb in the throat region.

Rio Zoo has partnered with Projeto Jacutinga, a protection programme created by the Brazilian Society for Conservation of Birds, the Save Brazil. The objective is to pair with animals from other institutions so they can have genetically viable offspring for reintroduction into their natural habitat. The NGO is part of BirdLife International’s global alliance in more than 100 countries.

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