One endangered parrot species just got a major boost: A whopping 20 scarlet macaw fledglings have now taken flight over the forests of Guatemala.
Scarlet macaws, one of the world's largest parrot species, are at threat from destruction of their habitat and poaching for the pet trade. An estimated 95 percent of the scarlet macaws in Guatemala live in the Maya Biosphere Reserve.
Conservationists with the Wildlife Conservation Society and theNationalParkService of Guatemala run a monitoring program focused on helping weak and at-risk chicks — some of which were removed from tree cavity nests and hand-reared in a jungle hospital — with guidance from the Bronx Zoo's Department of Ornithology and veterinarians from the Global Health Program.
The rehabilitated chicks are then fostered back in nests with chicks of the same age, a procedure that greatly increased the chances of survival for these rare birds.
Monitoring scarlet macaw nests is not for the faint of heart. Researchers need to be able to climb trees — often with the aid of rappelling lines nearly 100 feet (30 meters) above the canopy floor — to inspect nests, mount video cameras, and sometimes remove sick chicks from the nesting cavities.
Source: Live Science