Posted: Wednesday, April 7, 2010, 4:00 p.m. EDT
Photo courtesy Fundación ProAves (www.proaves.org)
The Santa Marta parakeet (Pyrrhura viridicata) is among several threatened species of Colombian parrots.
Fundación ProAves has completed a workshop for the conservation of threatened parrots of Colombia. “Work Desk: National Action Plan for the conservation of threatened parrots of Colombia 2010 to 2020” determined whether the current framework worked as written or if it needed new guidelines.
The goal of the foundation’s plan is to ensure the permanence of populations of threatened parrots, based on the progress of the conservation status of each species. Attending the workshop were governmental and non-governmental organizations that collaborate with the program, ornithologists, conservationists and local community members. There were 23 people and 11 institutions in all.
According to Esteban Botero, Fundación ProAves researcher and coauthor of the plan, the main results of the first plan were to identify conservation status, habitat requirements and conservation priorities of each species up until the program began in 2006.
“Ultimately, all actions for conservation, environmental education and research projects of the threatened parrots program to date were the result of this plan, as all these were framed within its objectives,” said Botero.
“The idea is that the 2010 to 2020 plan should be the guide for developing conservation plans for each species, for the design and implementation of strategies and conservation actions, and that investigation should move into the gaps to date in each species,” Botero said. “The 2010-2020 plan is proposed as the guideline for not only for ProAves; other institutions interested in the conservation of parrots should make efforts in research and conservation.”
By establishing and supporting scholarship programs for internships and thesis, ProAves enabled researchers to identify the ecological requirements, threats and population status in each of the localities.
“Through the acquisition of new information, not only was the knowledge of each species increased, but new questions arose that gave rise to new research, seeking complete information on natural history,” Botero said.
Such research has led to establishing nurseries and breeding plants that produce food found to be part of parrot diets, and to establishing artificial nest programs as a conservation measure and research tool. He also lauded high-impact programs, such as Campaign Reconcile Yourself With Nature, and reforestation programs.
Botero cited several successful previous research projects. These include: Project Ognorhynchus for the yellow-eared parrot; Project Pyrrhura for the Santa Marta parakeet (Pyrrhura viridicata), brown-breasted conure (P. calliptera), Perijá conure (P. caeruleiceps) and maroon-tailed conure, (P. melanura pacifica); and Project Central Range for the indigo-winged Parrot (Hapalopsittaca fuertesi), rusty-faced parrot (Hapalopsittaca amazonina), Rufous-fronted parakeet (Bolborhynchus ferrugineifrons) and golden-plumed parakeet (Leptosittaca branickii).
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