Other Animals
Araripe Manakin, manakin
Rick elis.simpson, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This is a big world that we live in. We discover new things all the time. And sometimes, some of the things we discover become rarer than we want them to be. There are many areas of the earth that we have not had ample time to be in. Within those spaces are creatures we might not have ever seen, or if we had, we don’t see enough of them.

One such creature is a bird called Araripe manakin, a bird native to Brazil, specifically in what is known as the Araripe Uplands. The Araripe Uplands is a land base approximately 31 miles long, and a little over a half mile wide. But within this tine space lives a bird so rare that there are believed to be only 500 pairs left. This makes the Araripe Manakin one of the rarest birds in the world, who live in such a singular space and nowhere else.

Where Every Inch of Space Matters

The bird was discovered in 1996, and scientifically described in 1998. By 2000, there were believed to be only 50 of these beautiful birds in existence, thus creating a massive concern. The small bird was listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN, which monitors and reports on the population of birds throughout the world. Relocating the bird in the hopes that it will fruitfully multiply is a struggle all by itself as it only knows the small land spread where it currently lives. Adapting to another place is a difficult agenda to undertake for the beautiful bird.

The Araripe Manakin is approximately about 6 inches in length, with a long tail. Like the Northern Cardinal, male and female Araripe Manakins differ in appearance. This makes it easy to discern how many of each sex are in the wild. The male is a colorful, predominantly white bird with a red patch that runs from the head down the back. The wings of the male are black as are their tail. The iris of the male is red in color. The female, on the other hand, is completely olive green with their upper region a pale green. The green color of the female helps to keep it camouflaged while the male can be spotted almost anywhere.

The diet of the bird is largely fruit and plant, although the females, with their camouflage-like green color, can spread their diet out and take in more than their brightly colored mates. The males simply stand out to potential predators and must be more careful. The bill of the female is much longer and better suited to fruit picking.

The bird is of special interest as it is included in the Alliance For Zero Extinction primarily because of its strong predilection for a small location. With this, if the bird loses the habitat it currently lives in, it is highly likely to become extinct.

The American Bird Conservancy has helped to purchase over 300 acres of land annexed to the Araripe National Forest. Its primary function is to become a suitable home for the rare manakin in the hopes that the bird will take it as its new habitat. To help with this, the location is filled with trees replicating the ones they accept. Everything is being done to replicate the habitat so that the Araripe Manakin can survive and thrive.

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