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Beaked: excessive hunting led bird to extinction

dustr Luana Luizy, Communication Advisor, International Education Institute of Brazil

“A large part of birds in Brazil are threatened by the modification and destruction of their habitat. The weevil is one of the few that are threatened by another reason: hunting. The birds (hunters, traders and bird collectors) were so efficient that they managed to exterminate the beak from much of Brazil ”, says Flávio Ubaid, a contributor to the Ariramba Institute of Nature Conservation.

The weevil suffered intense capture to supply the illegal trade. Photo: © Flávio Ubaid / Ariramba Institute Collection

Your melodic singing, similar to the sound of a flute, makes the beak a target for the illegal capture of collectors. Considered one of the rarest birds in Brazil, he fights against the persecution of cages to live.

"The weevil is a bird that originally inhabited much of Central Brazil to the north of the Amazon and even in other countries, but it suffers a very high pressure of capture, a fact that was crucial to extinguish them", says Flávio.

The bird lives in flooded environments where tiririca grass is born, species of razor grass whose seeds are its main food, broken by its thick and strong beak

As they search for places with plenty of water, the preservation of the springs and Cerrado paths is essential for the survival of the boll weevil.

 “The Cerrado is a biome rich in water; and this bird is directly related to these wet areas. However, deforestation and fires contribute to drying up the Veredas and damaging the springs, which contributes to this ceasing to be an environment of the weevil ”, adds Flávio.

Reintroduction of the species

Males have almost entirely black plumage, while females have brown feathers. Photo: © Flávio Ubaid / Ariramba Institute Collection

Support from Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF, acronym in English) and the International Institute of Education of Brazil (IEB) has strengthened actions to reintroduce the boll weevil in Private Natural Heritage Reserves (RPPNs). The activities are concentrated, for the time being, mainly in the north of Minas Gerais, an area that covers the Sertão Veredas-Peruaçu Corridor and the RPPN Porto Cajueiro.

& #8220; CEPF / IEB allowed us to establish a free-living weevil population in MG fulfilling the whole process of setting and legal requirements. Thus, the support was decisive to promote the conservation of the boll weevil. Throughout the development of the activities, Usina Coruripe, owner of RPPN Porto Cajueiro, identified itself with the project and has also contributed in all stages of execution. A major breakthrough in the project will be the implementation of a conservationist boll weed financier, financed by Coruripe, which will put the project on another level of performance ”, points out Ubaid, on the results of the project 'Reintroduction of the weevil in key areas for the conservation of the Cerrado', managed by the Ariramba Institute for Nature Conservation.


Learn more about the bicudo project:


The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund is a joint initiative of the French Development Agency, Conservation International, the European Union, Global Environmental Management, the Government of Japan and the World Bank. A key goal is to ensure that civil society is involved in biodiversity conservation.

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