Conserving the Nature of America
Press Release
Service Revises Proposal to List the Scarlet Macaw under the Endangered Species Act, Reopens Comment Period

April 6, 2016


Division of Public Affairs
External Affairs
Telephone: 703-358-2220

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is revising a proposed rule to list the scarlet macaw under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and reopening the comment period for 60 days.

Threats to this neotropical parrot species include deforestation, habitat degradation and poaching for the pet trade. The existing laws and regulations are inadequate to address these ongoing threats.

On July 6, 2012, the Service proposed to list the northern subspecies of scarlet macaw (Ara macao cyanoptera) and the northern population of the southern subspecies (A. m. macao) as endangered under the ESA. Based on the Service’s review and new information received during the public comment period, the agency is proposing several substantive changes, including adding a proposal to list the southern population of A. m. macao and hybrids of the two subspecies as threatened due to a similarity of appearance. With these revisions, the proposed rule now covers all known wild populations of scarlet macaw.

The Service is also proposing a rule under section 4(d) of the ESA to allow certain activities for captive-bred scarlet macaws listed as threatened without a permit. Breeders would be allowed to sell their animals in interstate commerce and owners of pet birds would be able to import and export their birds without a permit, provided the requirements of the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora and the Wild Bird Conservation Act are met.

The Service invites comments regarding these changes and encourages those who may have commented previously to submit additional comments, if appropriate. Comments previously submitted have been considered and do not need to be resubmitted.

The proposed rule will publish in the Federal Register on April 7, 2016. Written comments and information concerning this proposal can be submitted by one of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Follow the instructions for submitting comments to Docket No. [FWS–R9–ES–2012–0039]; or
  • U. S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: [FWS–R9–ES–2012–0039]; Division of Policy, Performance, and Management Programs; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC; 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.

Comments must be received within 60 days, on or before June 6, 2016. The Service will post all comments on This generally means the agency will post any personal information provided through the process. The Service is not able to accept email or faxes. For complete details on updates to the proposed rule and the kinds of information the Service is seeking, please visit and search on the above docket number.

The ESA provides numerous benefits to foreign species, primarily by prohibiting certain activities, including import, export, take, interstate commerce and foreign commerce. By regulating these activities, the United States ensures that people under the jurisdiction of the United States do not contribute to the further decline of listed species. For more information on the two parakeets and a copy of the notice, visit:

To learn more about the Endangered Species program’s Branch of Foreign Species, visit:

Information contained in older news items may be outdated. These materials are made available as historical archival information only. Individual contacts have been replaced with general External Affairs office information. No other updates have been made to the information and we do not guarantee current accuracy or completeness.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit

For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel and download photos from our Flickr page.