Ara sp. nov. 'Hispaniola'

Hispaniolan macaw



Taxonomy & Nomenclature



Conservation Status

An endemic species of macaw (Ara sp.) was presumed to have occurred on Hispaniola because of eye witness reports by early writers (Wetherbee, 1985; Williams & Steadman, 2001). However, Olson (2005) has shown that this is due to a confusion in the literature and that in fact there is no evidence, not even early reports, that a macaw ever inhabited Hispaniola. However, Olson remarks that given the size of Hispaniola it would not be too surprising if it did indeed once harboured its own endemic macaw. But there is no evidence of such a species.





Biology & Ecology










Casas, B. de las. (1876). Historia de las Indias. 5 vols. Madrid, Spain.

Clark, A. H. (1905). The Greater Antillean Macaws. Auk 22: 345-348.

Gosse, P. H. (1847). The Birds of Jamaica. London: Van Voorst.

Greenway, James C. (1958). Extinct and Vanishing Birds of the World. American Committee for International Wild Life Protection Special Publication, 13: x + 518 pages, 86 figures, 1 appendix.

Olson, Storrs L. (2005). Refutation of the historical evidence for a Hispaniolan macaw (Aves: Psittacidae: Ara). Caribbean Journal of Science 49(2): 319-323.

Ritter, Carl. (1836). Naturalhistorishe Reise nach der Westindischen Insel Hayti auf Kosten Sr. Majestat des Kaisers von Oesterriech. Stuttgart 1-206.

Rothschild, W. (1905). [Untitled]. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 16: 13-15.

Wetherbee, David Kenneth. (1985). The Extinct Cuban and Hispaniolan Macaws (Ara, Psittacidae), and description of a new species, Ara cubensis. Caribbean Journal of Science 21(3-4): 169-175.

Williams, Mathew I. and Steadman, David W. (2001). The historic and prehistoric distribution of parrots (Psittacidae) in the West Indies, pp. 175-189. In: Woods, Charles A. and Sergile, Florence E. (eds.). Biogeography of the West Indies: Patterns and Perspectives, 2nd ed. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press.


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