May 16, 2013

Scarlet Macaw Genome Sequenced

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One of the famous "chicos" stops by the lodge to check out breakfast.

This is very good news for the chicos and the hundreds of other wild macaws that we see flying around our lodges.

Sequencing the genome of the macaws opens the door for a whole range of conservation efforts that were previously difficult to do. For example, researchers can now do better estimates of genetic diversity within a population by collecting feathers that have fallen on the ground. Or, they can identify key genes that may be affecting the health of the birds, or making one population more unique and isolated than another.

Of course, our Tambopata Research Center was cited in the report, which you can read in full here.

"Scarlet macaw was selected for the first such sequencing of its type because Texas A&M researchers have been studying the bird for many years. Working primarily at the Tambopata Research Center in Peru, Texas A&M bird experts have been investigating macaw diseases, behavior and ecology"

One of the scarlet macaw chicks that the researchers are monitoring at
the Tambopata Research Center.

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