Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 953–967

Use of forest fragments by blue-winged macaws (Primolius maracana) within a fragmented landscape

Original Paper


Parrots are the most threatened group of birds in the world, mainly because of the reduction and fragmentation of their natural habitats. However, few studies have investigated the dynamics of parrot populations in disturbed landscapes on a broad scale. In this paper, we studied the ecological interactions of the vulnerable blue-winged macaw (Primolius maracana) in a fragmented landscape surrounding a large protected park in southeastern Brazil. We sampled 36 forest fragments that varied in size, characteristics, degree of isolation and type of surrounding matrix in order to assess the importance of habitat features on the maintenance of these birds. Blue-winged macaws were recorded in 70% of the satellite remnants that were sampled, which included large and small blocks of forest. These areas were used as sites for feeding, nesting or overnight rests, and also provided connectivity for birds’ displacements. However, the frequency of macaw visits varied among the remnants, and this was related to habitat features such as patch size, human use of surrounding land, and the proximity to the protected park, to urban areas and to the birds’ roosting areas. In general, landscape-scale parameters explained more of the variation in the frequency of visits by macaws than did patch-scale parameters. These results demonstrate the importance of landscape mosaics for the survival of blue-winged macaws.


Parrots Threaten species Atlantic forest Forest fragmentation Habitat use Scale of analyses 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centro Nacional de Pesquisa para Conservação das Aves Silvestres (CEMAVE)-IBAMA, BR 230CabedeloBrazil
  2. 2.Laboratório de Biologia da Conservação, Departamento de EcologiaUniversidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP)Rio ClaroBrazil
  3. 3.Institute for Biological Conservation (IBC)CampinasBrazil

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