Tag Archives: Amazon

Biodiversity challenge – White-winged parakeet

Dead parrot sketch
white_winged_parakeet_john_halbert

White-winged parakeet by John Halbert

Poisoned minds on a killing spree,
Poisonous sense of humour set free,
A tumour where your heart should be,
Offended by too much green in a tree.
Not enough grey in your concrete streets?
Was there too much life in those parakeets?
Too raucous and colourful for you here?
Need somewhere with less atmosphere?
What you deserve is a spell behind bars,
Or maybe a one-way ticket to Mars.
Then death shall have no further dominion
Outside your luxury condominium.

© Tim Knight and timknightwriter, 2014

(For Kitty, Carolina, John and the other artists who are painting to stop the slaughter)

Several years ago the construction of “Avenida das Torres” (Avenue of the Towers) in the Amazonian city of Manaus resulted in the removal of many of the native trees and palms where white-winged parakeets and other birds had nested and roosted. In search of new homes, the birds found a group of imperial palms in front of a luxury condominium complex. As the residents did not like the chattering, singing and socialising of the birds, they arranged to have huge plastic nets put over the trees, which trapped and killed many of the birds. More recently several hundred of the parakeets have been found dead on the street, most probably poisoned. The white-winged parakeet is not an endangered species as such, but it will be before long unless attitudes to wildlife change. Remember the passenger pigeon, anyone?

Biodiversity challenge – Wattled curassow

Kill or curassow?
wattled_curassow_ellen_hobgood

Wattled curassow by Ellen Hobgood www.ellenhobgoodgallery.com

What now,
Wattled curassow?
Whither with your
Unique beacon beak?
We wonder how
You’ll find a refuge
From the human deluge
Ripping through
Your pristine pad.
Too bad there’s
No room for you
On the redrawn maps.
See cracks appearing,
Watch Crax disappearing
Through the gaps.
A once intact
Amazonian tract
Man fractured
Beyond repair.
So where now,
Curassow?

© Tim Knight and timknightwriter, 2014

Species profile: Wattled curassow

IUCN Red List Category: Endangered

Wattled curassows are confined to the flooded riparian forest and overgrown shores of rivers in the Andean lowlands and Amazon basin, where they feed mainly on small fish and crustaceans. Widespread human colonisation has resulted in severe fragmentation of the curassow’s habitat and exposed it to the threat of commercial and subsistence hunting, often with shotguns. Populations have declined alarmingly in recent years.