Not all discoveries are created equal, and the discovery of the Araripe Manakin in Northeast Brazil was a shocker. For starters, it’s an amazingly marked bird. The male pictured here, with its scorching red cape, hood and frontal tuft, is otherwise dressed in black and white.
Given its appearance, it is hard to fathom that it had never been seen by anyone until 1996. Almost as soon as it was discovered it became clear that this bird had both a tiny population and a tiny range. Today it is believed that there are fewer than 1000 individuals in total, and all occur within a minuscule 17 square-mile patch of habitat. Due to this, it is considered “critically endangered” by the IUCN – as one of the rarest birds in the world, it is one of the highest of priorities for conservationists. (The only designations after “critically endangered” are “extinct in the wild” and “extinct”).
But there is hope for this magical bird. In 2008 it was announced that Sir David Attenborough would champion its conservation, and there is a local organisation that, with the help of the American Bird Conservancy, is working hard to improve the plight of the Araripe Manakin. Today Aquasis, based in Ceará, Brazil, has made it their mission to head off extinctions in their state and they are propagating new habitat for the bird to try and boost its numbers. Check the links above if you are interested in learning more about how to help. Of course, we firmly believe that another way to help these birds is to go and try to see them. Again and again, all of us have seen how communities take notice when a group of birders roll into town. At first, we are seen as a curiosity. Then after a time, locals realise we represent an opportunity, and a chance to build a sustainable tourism programme.
There are opportunities aplenty in Northeast Brazil. This region has all the beauty and diversity that any birder could ever hope for, with a stunning array of striking endemics that flourish in the diverse habitats of Ceará, Pernambuco, Alagoas and Bahia. Star birds such as Lear’s Macaw, White-collared Kite, Grey-breasted Parakeet, dazzling Hooded Visorbearer, Pygmy Nightjar, Fringe-backed Fire-eye, Alagoas Antwren, Scalloped Antbird, gorgeous Banded Cotinga and the incredibly adorned Seven-colored Tanager are eye-candy birds you can’t see anywhere else.
Brazil has nearly 1800 bird species within its borders, the 3rd most in the world, and the endemics overflow with 218 species found nowhere else in the world. On our Northeast Brazil tour we are likely to encounter an incredible 450+ species; however, over 100 of these are likely to be Brazilian endemics, which is staggering! Many of these endemics are also highly threatened, with 5 species listed as critically endangered, 19 species listed as endangered and a further 18 species listed as vulnerable. Having said this, our rate of success at finding these rare and extremely special birds is considerably high, with our 2017 tour recording an exceptional 38 of these highly threatened birds. Right now is the perfect time to explore Northeast Brazil, with good access to the critical habitats, respectable accommodations and excellent food. However, most critically, the birds are still around and can be seen. For how much longer one can never be sure, but if you’re ready to immerse yourself in showy, speciality birds, then the Northeast of Brazil is the perfect place to do just that.
Join Rockjumper today, and discover more.
Brazil – North Eastern Mega Birding Tour 2018
21 Sep – 12 Oct 2018 (22 days)
Price: USD7,975 *GBP6,002 *EUR6,873
In pursuit of Araripe Manakin, Hooded Visorbearer, Horned Sungem, Frilled Coquette, Wied’s Tyrant-Manakin, Rusty-margined & White-browed Guans, White-collared Kite, Sincora Antwren, Pink-legged Graveteiro, Banded Cotinga and much more!
Brazil – Atlantic Coastal Forest II 2018
05 – 12 Oct 2018 (8 days)
Price: GBP1,625 *USD2,160 *EUR1,861
In pursuit of Three-toed Jacamar, Swallow-tailed Cotinga, Saffron Toucanet, Green-crowned Plovercrest, Saw-billed Hermit, Black-billed Scythebill, Giant, Large-tailed, Tufted, Spot-backed & White-bearded Antshrike, and more!
Guyana – Birds & Wildlife 2018
03 – 17 Nov 2018 (15 days)
On Special: WAS USD7,400.00 NOW USD6,800.00
In pursuit of Guianan Cock-of-the-rock, Sun Parakeet, Red Siskin, Guianan Toucanet, Crimson Fruitcrow, Harpy Eagle, Capuchinbird, Blood-colored Woodpecker, Rufous Crab Hawk, and more!