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Rescue and Sanctuary

 

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We support ongoing conservation and sanctuary efforts to increase the capacity to care for birds in need.

 

With contributions from Ms. Stephanie Fein and The Summerlee Foundation, Aves Sagradas secured funds for the construction of a Great Green Macaw transition aviary and artificial nests for the Costa Rican conservation nonprofit organization, The Ara Project.

 

The Ara Project has been involved in the rescue, non-commercial breeding and reintroduction of Macaws for thirty years. As an organization in a country of origin, they are able to combine rescue and reintroduction, and individual protection with conservation. The Ara Project has released over a hundred Scarlet Macaws (Ara macao) and 43 Great Green Macaws. Considering that there are only 2500 estimated wild Great Green Macaws globally, this release group comprises a very significant addition to the total population.

 

Transition Aviary

Macaws in transition aviary.

Macaws in transition aviary.

Rescued parrots deemed medically (e.g., disease free), physically (e.g., able to fly, forage), and psychologically (e.g., able to integrate and overcome trauma, open to interact and socialize with other macaws and willingness to live outside confinement) competent are transported to Manzanillo, Ara’s Great Green Macaw release site. Individuals identified during initial evaluation having compromised physical and/or psychological health from sustained captivity, remain with the captive flock in sanctuary.

 

While they are not able to return to free living community, they have families and live in a (communal) flock. Their offspring have the opportunity to join wild flocks and invigorate guaycamayo society. There, they reside in a temporary transition aviary. This also provides further opportunity to assess their readiness and ability to live healthy, happy lives in the wild with free living macaws. It is very moving to watch the joy and excitement of reunion when their free living relatives come to visit and talk and commune.

Artificial Nests

Macaw in tree.

Logging and development have removed principal nesting and feeding trees, the alemendro (Dipteryx panamensis), thereby drastically undermining Great Green Macaw habitat and the ability to survive. While alemendro logging is banned and reforestation has commenced, it takes many years to produce trees of the height and girth needed for macaw nesting. There is a pressing need to build artificial nests for the released macaws. Without large bole artificial nests, macaw chicks and eggs are vulnerable to predation by mammals and long billed toucans who are able to reach inside.

 

Artificial nests ensure the safety and survival of released formerly captive birds. Because the nests are made with natural materials, they encourage young chicks to seek trees and similar nesting conditions that resemble their historic habitat. The construction of nests allows the cycle of Macaw rescue, release, and re-establishment to flow and function successfully.