Researchers and conservationists from the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Guatemala Program, WCS’s Bronx Zoo, the National Park Service of Guatemala, and other groups have announced a major conservation victory from Central America. The breeding season for endangered scarlet macaws in the region has been the most successful to date. There have been 29 fledglings this year which higher than the goal of one fledgling for each of the 24 monitored nests.
The program focused on monitoring weak and at-risk chicks, who were removed from nests, hand reared and then returned to foster nests containing other chicks of similar age. Support was provided to the team in Guatemala by the Bronx Zoo’s Department of Ornithology and veterinarians from the Global Health Program.
This is great news for the scarlet macaw considering only 300 are believed to still be alive in the country. The results are also a far improvement from earlier years such as 2003 which only raised one fledgling from 15 monitored nests. “We believe the lessons learned can not only help save the scarlet macaw in Guatemala, but be extended to help other threatened species of parrots and cavity nesters across the globe.” said WCS Conservationist Rony Garcia. This work will continue until organisations are able to work with local government to protect scarlet macaws against the threats of habitat destruction and poaching for the pet trade.
Photo credits: WCS Guatemala Program.