Posted: January 25, 2012, 4:00 p.m. PST
By Gina Cioli/BowTie/Courtesy Omar's Exotic Birds
Scarlet macaw chicks help boost the population in Guatemala.
Researchers and conservationists from the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Guatemala Program, WCS’s Bronx Zoo, the National Park Service of Guatemala and other groups, report a major conservation victory from Central America: 29 fledged scarlet macaws
that are flying free in Guatemala.
Conservationists focused on helping weak and at-risk chicks, some of which were removed from tree-cavity nests and hand-reared in a jungle hospital. The rehabilitated chicks were then fostered back into the nests with chicks of the same age, a procedure that greatly increased the chances of survival for these birds.
“The success in increasing the nesting success of scarlet macaws through intensive chick management and fostering is a great step forward for macaw conservation,” said Rony Garcia, a WCS conservationist. “We believe the lessons learned cannot only help save the scarlet macaw in Guatemala, but can be extended to help other threatened species of parrots and cavity nesters across the globe.”
With a total estimated population of some 300 macaws in the country, each successfully fledged bird is critical for the survival of the species, according to the WCS.
WCS has been working to conserve the scarlet macaw since 2001, protecting the species from habitat destruction and poaching for the pet trade.