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Bolivia is coming out of rainy season now…

Project update: Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Blue-throated Macaw © M Stafford

Bolivia is coming out of the rainy season now, the end of the breeding season for most birds, including our two Macaw species. Mauricio Herrera, coordinator of the Armonia/Loro Parque Fundacion Blue-throated Macaw program has been keeping an eye on one nest with three chicks, the three birds all very healthy and close to fledging.

Once the savannas have drained off the summer rain, we are planning on getting to work on our new 3555 acre Barba Azul Nature Reserve, purchased in October 2008. We have big plans for the reserve, but have to start small because of the economic crunch. This year we plan to build reserve staff humble houses, design a fire wall system to fight off the neighbour ranch burning, improve the nest box program. In August, a group of Researchers from Glasgow University will be visiting the site to evaluate bird, mammal (camera traps) and the ecosystem in general.

The Red-fronted Macaws are completing their breeding year, with the last fledging chicks coming out by the end of May. Reproduction for the birds has gone on as normal. We radio collared five birds this year to try and understand their movements better. This is information is very important for the birds conservation, because we need to know whether the small groups of birds are isolated, or intermingle. So far, the radio collar data suggests our birds can be big time wanderers, which rings alarm bells. Its is wonderful that our ecolodge and community work in the Mizque watershed is working so well, but these birds are still vulnerable to illegal parrot traders in other areas of the birds distribution.

Our “extinction is forever” campaign was extremely successful for 2008, reaching approximately 33% of Bolivia’s population. We plan to continue the campaign this year, in order to reduce the key threat to the Red-fronted Macaw- illegal trade.

blogs from the field - parrot conservation in real time