The Yellow-Naped Amazon Parrot was once common across the lowland dry tropical forests of Central America. Nevertheless, decades of habitat loss and poaching for the pet trade have led to a drastic population declines in this species. In early 2012, the IUCN added this species to its list of threatened species. Along the Pacific slope of Nicaragua, Central America’s largest country, this parrot remains in only a few small areas. One of these areas is the Paso del Istmo (Passage of the Isthmus), a narrow strip of land between Lake Nicaragua and the Pacific coast where forest fragments are surrounded by agriculture, ranching and along the coast, tourism developments.
Paso Pacifico (pasopacifico.org) is a non-profit organization working with local communities in the Paso del Istmo to restore forest habitat and reverse the loss of native wildlife. The Yellow-Naped Amazon Parrot is a flagship species for this effort.
Since 2008, Paso Pacifico has carried out programs to monitor this Yellow-Naped Amazon Parrot, both nesting and adult populations. We have found that limited nest site availability and poaching both greatly limit reproduction. So, in early 2012 the organization launched a pilot project placing artificial nest boxes near recently lost nesting sites. We also launched an incentive program by which we pay local community members, many of them poachers, for committing to protect a nest, with a high cash reward for successful fledglings. Paso Pacifico also leads environmental education programs that target youth and adults with knowledge and awareness about parrots. A sling-shot for binocular exchange is an essential part of this program.