BBC News

Rare macaws bred in Cornwall to be flown to Bolivia

image captionThe trust said about 130 blue-throated macaws survived in the wild

Six rare parrots which have been bred in Cornwall are being flown to a new life in the wild in Bolivia.

The Blue Throated Macaws are heading to South America, 6,000 miles away (9,660 km) from their home at Paradise Park in Hayle.

It is part of a project to re-populate parrots in the wild organised by the World Parrot Trust based in Cornwall.

The trust said current figures show up to 120 Blue Throated Macaws live in the wild in Bolivia.

The numbers have reduced by more than 50% compared to 2007, when there were 250 in Bolivia.

Earlier figures show there were 1,000 of the birds living in the wild in 1980.

'Quite a boost'

They are now only found in Llanos de Mojos in northern Bolivia.

David Woolcock, the curator of Paradise Park, where the trust is based, said: "I can't emphasise enough how rare these birds are.

"To send six birds out from here, joined by seven from America and seven from Canada. That's quite a boost to the wild population."

It is not the first time the trust has sent bred-birds back into the wild from Cornwall.

Alison Hales, from the park, said: "The very first species the trust helped was the echo parakeet in Mauritius.

"The parakeet was down to just seven individuals. It's taken a very long time, but the numbers have crept up, and now it has reached 500 individuals."

More on this story

  • Race starts in west Cornwall to save rare wild macaws