Who can forget the down-to-earth charm Blu, a Spix's macaw, had in the movie Rio?
While the movie, which centers on trying to save the parrot species from extinction, had a beautiful happy ending, the reality on the ground is anything but reassuring.
In the movie, a male macaw is being taken to Brazil to meet up with the last female of his kind in order to save the species from extinction.
But in the real world, the Spix's Macaw is now extinct in the wild.
The main reason this has happened is deforestation, which destroyed the bird's natural habitat.
But it is not just the macaws we need to be concerned about. We are forcing more and more bird species to extinction. BirdLife International says that the Spix's macaw is among eight other species that are already extinct or suspected to be extinct.
Today, there is a lot of extinctions going on, and destruction of these species' habitats is the main cause.
This is happening because the environment is getting degraded due to unsustainable agricultural practices and logging.
But as we have mentioned above, extinction has happened in the wild. In fact, there are about 60 to 80 Spix's macaws living in captivity.
So, there is still some hope for these beautiful birds, although it is worth considering which natural environments still exist for them to live in now that people are destroying their natural habitats at such a fast pace.
It has been discovered that extinctions, which happened much faster on islands, are currently taking place at an accelerated rate on the mainland.
But it's a sad reality that you cannot see these beautiful parrots in their natural habitats anymore.
Of particular concern is South America's wave of environmental destruction that largely contributed to this bird's extinction. Five of the species classified as extinct today were from South America, which goes to show how serious of a problem deforestation has become.
And although this report is just emerging, BirdLife International was able to determine through research that the extinction happened several years ago in 2001 when the last known Spix's macaw disappeared from the wild.
Since then, the organization has searched for the bird in the wild but to no avail, which is why the Spix's macaw is now officially classified as extinct.
The good news is that this bird does great in captivity. Therefore, with dedicated effort, the birds currently in captivity can be used to improve population numbers. But this news is still a sobering reminder of how much our planet is suffering due to human activity.