Tag Archives: Brazil

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 – Northern brown howler

Vocal hero
kitty_howler

Northern brown howlers by Kitty Harvill http://www.natureartists.com/kitty_harvill.asp

He’s a big noise,
One of the boys,
Roaring success.
Reading aloud from
The gruff guide
To life.

There hangs by a tail
In his primate pomp,
Proudly proclaiming
A New World order.

Headline news
From the guttural press.
Pumps up the volume,
Pushes the throat out.

Staking his claim,
Fortissimo fashion,
Unleashing decibel hell
From the trees.

He’s out on a limb,
Hanging tough,
Uncowed.
No silencing him,
He’s brown
And he’s loud.

© Tim Knight and timknightwriter, 2014.

Species profile:
Northern brown howler

IUCN Red List Category:
Critically Endangered

As their name suggests, brown howler monkeys are best known for their loud territorial calls, which can be heard over distances of several kilometres. One of ten species of howler, they are confined to the Atlantic coastal forest of south-east Brazil and north-east Argentina, where they live in social groups high in the canopy. The Northern brown howler subspecies is believed to number fewer than 250 individuals, restricted to an area north of the Rio Jequitinhonha in Brazil.

Biodiversity challenge – Lear’s macaw

Parrot passion 

Houston, we have a situation:
The last surviving Lear’s macaws
Heading for extermination,
Adjacent to the exit doors.
A one-way ticket – Destination
Calamity – clasped in their claws.
Hunted close to extirpation,
Permanently in the wars;
Pet trade and deforestation
Probably the final straws.

Cue renewed determination
To pluck them from extinction’s jaws;
Cue increased collaboration,
Nations rally to the cause;
Cue more stringent legislation,
Tighter anti-poaching laws;
Cue licuri propagation,
Makeshift palm nut superstores;
Cue a cause for celebration:
Parrot population soars.
Cue collective wild elation,
Hear the thunderous applause.
Victory for conservation,
Harbingers of doom, up yours.

© Tim Knight and timknightwriter, 2014.