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Lear’s macaw

(Anodorhynchus leari)

Coloration: its coloration is similar to that of A. hyacinthinus, but it is significantly smaller in size. The difference between the two species lies in the tone of the colors: the head and the neck have a greenish blue coloration, the chest is a faded blue color, and the wings and tail are a tone of cobalt blue. They have a light yellow ring around the eye, with white or light bluish eyelashes. The most significant difference is in the form of the wattle (the skin around the jaw). In A. hyacinthinus it is in the form of a strip, while in A. leari it is shaped like a blot (drop).


Reference: GUEDES, N.M.R. 2009 Arara-azul-de-lear. Projeto Arara Azul website. Instituto Arara Azul.


Until 2008, it was in the critically threatened category and included in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) and on the Official List of Brazilian Fauna in Danger of Extinction (MMA 2003). Once it was verified that the population had reached 960 individuals, the species was reclassified as “In Danger”, in accordance with the CITES criteria. The main reason for the decline of the species was the illegal trafficking of these birds by private breeders in Brazil and abroad and the destruction of their habitats, impacting mainly feeding areas.

Source: IUCN

Image gallery

Geographical Distribution

found in the north of Bahia, especially on the Raso da Catarina Ecological Reserve and the Canudos Biological Reserve. Historically, the area of distribution of this species included the cities of: Campo Formoso, Euclides da Cunha, Uauá, Jeremoabo, Canudos, Sento Sé, and Paulo Afonso.


In the caatinga (savannah) regions, they use the sedimentary rock walls and canyons for sleeping and nesting, and feed in areas with palm trees. The population has two known sleeping and reproduction sites that are currently being monitored: the rock walls of the 1500-acre Canudos Ecological Station (EBC) and the Fazenda Serra Branca, in Jeremoabo-BA, both private reserves.


Seeds of the licuri palm (Syagrus coronata), sisal flowers (Agave sp), and the fruits of the pinhão-bravo (Jatropha pohliana), umbu (Spondias tuberosa), baraúna (Schinopsis brasiliensis Engl), and mucuna (Dioclea sp.). When food is scarce, the macaws eat corn (Zea mays) planted by the local population. In 2006, a Parrots International ( and the Lymington Foundation began a corn reimbursement program, coordinated by IBAMA, for the local population whose crops were being attacked by Lear’s macaws.

Conservation and Management

There is a Lear’s Macaw Conservation Project coordinated by Cemave – ICMbio in partnership with various institutions and an international committee for the recovery of the species in the wild and in captivity. In Canudos, the biologist Érica Pacífico is conducting studies about the reproductive biology of the species with the support of the Fundação Biodiversitas and the USP Museum of Zoology. The Instituto Arara Azul began participating in this program upon signing an agreement with the Loro Park Foundation, in Tenerife, Spain (2010-2012), to develop initiatives focused on community involvement, environmental education, and income generation. This project is being conducted in the region of Euclides da Cunha, which represents 51% of the feeding range of the species and is coordinated by Simone Tenório, a research associate of the Institute. For more information see OTHER PROJECTS.

Distribution map

Source: IUCN


Class: Birds

Order: Psittaciformes

Family: Psittacidae

Genre: Anodorhynchus

Scientific name: Anodorhynchus leari

Popular name: Lear’s macaw

Other macaws

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