Left to right: Camiguin Hanging-Parrot (Loriculus camiguinensis) and Hyacinth Macaw (Anodorhyncus hyacinthinus). Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago. Conservation status of macaw: endangered. Camiguin Hanging-Parrot (Loriculus camiguinensis): the specimens in this drawer, collected in the 1960's, are labelled Loriculus philippensis. However, field research in 2006 on the island of Camiguin in the Philippines led to these specimens being described as a new species, highlighting the importance of collections as a research resource and a source of potentially new and as yet undescribed species. Research is needed to determine its ecological needs and true population status. Macaw: in the 1980s the species suffered major declines as an estimated 10,000 birds were illegally captured for the pet trade and widespread habitat destruction and hunting caused a further reduction in numbers.
As biologists describe new species and add to our understanding of the interrelated nature of life on Earth, a species becomes extinct every 20 minutes (100 to 1000 times the background extinction rate as seen in the fossil record). Collections in natural history museums play important roles in conservation, education and research. Most of that work and the associated specimens are not on public display in museumsÃ¢€š typically, less than five percent of specimens are exhibited.