Experts at two of Brazil’s leading wildlife conservation bodies are on high alert following a spate of seizures of hyacinth macaws and golden lion tamarins from alleged traffickers in recent years. The illegal wildlife trade was what drove the hyacinth macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus), the world’s biggest flying parrot species, and the golden lion tamarin (Leontopithecus rosalia), a spectacularly colored monkey, to the brink of extinction in the 1980s. Since then, the respective efforts of the Instituto Arara Azul and the Associação Mico-Leão-Dourado (AMLD) have served to reverse those trends. Though the trafficking problem never fully went away for these animals, it was greatly reduced by the work of these NGOs to educate the government and communities in the regions where the species live. The institutions managed to bring together a number of other organizations to protect the two species, which have become symbols of Brazil’s biodiversity. Off the threatened list and back under threat The hyacinth macaw was removed from Brazil’s red list of threatened species in 2014. Since then, an increase in seizures of birds and eggs from traffickers have caused alarm, says Neiva Guedes, president of the Instituto Arara Azul. “Punishment is stiffer for trafficking animals at risk for extinction. Those who work with hyacinth macaws are specialized groups with few people involved. Removing the species from the list made these traffickers’ lives easier,” Guedes says. She questions the message being sent to the public and government agencies when a species is removed from the threatened list. “Being…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer