Saving the Macaw
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Several conservation groups are working to breed green and scarlet macaws for reintroduction to the wild in an effort to reestablish viable populations of these critically endangered birds and to link up the various isolated populations.
The Ara Project (tel. 506/8339-4329 or 8339-2407, www.thearaproject.org) is a macaw-breeding program on the three-hectare Finca Hatched to Fly Free estate in Río Segundo de Alajuela. (It was due to move to Punta Uva, on the Caribbean, in 2011.) Here, the Beirute family and a dedicated staff breed and raise green and scarlet macaws using special techniques and cages. The first scarlet macaws were released in January 1999 at a private reserve in Nicoya. Dozens of scarlet macaws have since been released at Tiskita, near Pavones; about 85 percent have survived, and the various released populations are intermingling. Additional releases are planned near Dominical and in southwest Nicoya. The first captive-bred green macaws were released in 2011. Donations are needed, as are volunteer workers.
ASOPROLAPA (tel. 506/8980-0594, http://delfines.com/costa-rica-photos/asoprolapa), based at the Barceló resort at Tambor, also breeds scarlet macaws for release. The first birds were freed in 2007 after 10 years of experimentation and research; at press time, 72 birds had been released.
© Christopher P. Baker from Moon Costa Rica, 8th Edition