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: a bumper crop of magnificent scarlet macaw fledglings that have now taken flight over the forests of Guatemala.
A scarlet macaw adult visits its nest in the Maya Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala. Credit: WCS Guatemala Program
With a total estimated population of some 300 macaws in the country, each successfully fledged bird is critical for the survival of the species. The bumper crop of fledglings in the 2011 season stands in stark contrast to the 2003 season that registered only one fledgling from 15 nests.
"With 10 years of effort, we have succeeded in developing an effective mix of interventions that will ensure the long-term persistence of the scarlet macaw in Guatemala," said Dr. Julie Kunen, Director of WCS's Latin America and Caribbean Program.
Roan McNab, Director of WCS's Guatemala Program, said: "Our current challenge is to maintain these interventions until we see a significant increase in the number of active nests within the Maya Biosphere Reserve landscape."
The scarlet macaw project benefits from the support of USAID, BBC Wildlife Fund, the American Museum of Natural History, and LeFebre Conservation, among others.
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