The Canudos Biological Station, located in Brazil’s Bahia Department, is a pioneering initiative managed by Biodiversitas Foundation that protects one of the planet’s most endangered and admired birds, theLear’s Macaw(EN). Thanks to focused conservation efforts, the species’ numbers have increased from a few dozen in the late 1980s to approximately 1,700 today. The 3,274-acre reserve is striking: Its sandstone canyons are weathered into odd forms, cloaked in Caatinga habitat with giant cacti and unique flora, including the Licuri Palm, an important food for the macaw.
To see the Lear’s Macaw, go during the breeding season (March to May) and be prepared to rise before dawn. Guides at the reserve, employed from the local community, will lead you to see flocks of these large, noisy, dazzling blue birds as they flap past the dramatic red sandstone canyons where they roost and nest.