Content Author Object Flagger Flag Created Reason Resolved by Resolution
Typical Macaws (Genus Ara) bouteloua Fri, 08 Jan 2021 22:16:22 +0000

discussion about the extinct species accepted here

Not Resolved



@ash2016 says,

On the page for the genus Ara, if one looks at the extinct species, the hypothetical extinct species Ara atwoodi, autochtones, erythrocephala, gossei, and guadaloupensis can be found, despite little historical evidence for their existence; indeed while their pages have an IUCN listing as extinct for them, the species themselves have no IUCN page and Birdlife International doesn’t recognize them either. Why might they be included then?

Posted by bouteloua 4 months ago (Flag)

It looks like they were imported from Birdlife in 2011 and were present in the the 2012 versions of the IUCN Redlist but have since been removed from the sites. They're not on the current Clements list so should be inactivated?

Posted by lwnrngr 4 months ago (Flag)

Let it be known that Cuban Macaw (tricolor) (undisputed), Saint Croix Macaw (autochtones), and Guadelupe Macaw (guadeloupensis) are known from subfossils and some visual reports. It is probably best to keep some of these species, but not others. For example, it might be best to merge the Jamaican Red Macaw (gossei) with the Cuban Macaw since they were likely the same species (unless more evidence is found). If other people have more/better information it would be appreciated

Posted by roshan2010 4 months ago (Flag)

How do you determine the reliability of a historical record? If someone drew it, does that count (like it can here on iNaturalist)? If someone wrote a diary entry making a passing reference to seeing a macaw in such-and-such island, does that count as evidence?

And as to the subfossils -- how much of the animal's body needs to be preserved to state that this one is a different species from that one?

Posted by jasonhernandez74 4 months ago (Flag)

It looks like DNA can be extracted from subfossils (but not fossils) and so theoretically a very tiny piece. The drawings/ writings are very annoying when finding what they represent, because old sailors from the 1400s wrote very differently than we do today. For example, a current scientist might say "A large macaw with blue wings, red body, and a golden nape". While an old version might be "a large red perching fowl with a large beak and blue wings" (also failing to mention the golden nape). Drawings are probably better since back in the age of these macaws people shot them before drawing them so they will notice all the features, but they are still pretty unreliable. Another problem is that these macaws were prized in Native American trade, so some "species" might actually be one species introduced by humans to another island. This is probably what happened with the Jamaican Red Macaw (gossei). Native Americans probably accidentally let go of some Cuban Macaws in Jamaica and they became the "Jamaican Red Macaw"


Posted by roshan2010 4 months ago (Flag)

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