Neiva was a biology student visiting the Pantanal region in Brazil. The Pantanal is a large tropical area with a lot of water in it
(it’s the world’s largest wetland). She was watching a flock of beautiful hyacinth macaws when her professor told her they were a threatened species.
He told her that their beautiful colour made them a target for poachers who captured them to sell illegally as pets. He went on to tell her that during the 1980s around 10,000 birds were illegally captured and sold. This was very tempting for poachers who could sell a single bird for as much
This made Neiva very sad so she decided to do something to help this wonderful bird and started the Hyacinth Macaw Project. WWF started supporting the project in 1990 through providing special radio collars to be fitted on the birds so Neiva could follow their movements and study them.
The project works with local people and landowners to help protect the macaw. Neiva also works with young people and schools to educate them about the importance of this species.
Neiva’s work to help raise awareness of the hyacinth macaw and its importance has helped stop the illegal trade of the bird in this area.