The Great Green Macaw (the second largest Psittacid in the world) is a species that the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) declared in danger of extinction.
This is a bird that inhabits the northern part of Costa Rica, an area that suffered rapid deforestation at the end of the 20thcentury: less than 30% of the forest is still standing.
Since 1997, we conducted studies that identified the limited distribution of the Great Green Macaw, its feeding habits and a series of threats to its survival. Our investigation indicated the need to protect its habitat, benefitting many other species as well.
Later we focused on continuing the efforts of a founder of the TSC, Dr. George Powell in establishing conservation priorities, since no protected area existed in the zone. In 1994 we achieved that the Great Green Macaw be declared a species in decline.
As well, 20 years of investigation has consolidated the Great Green Macaw Program through which the TSC has made the following scientific contributions:
- The identification of a 90% loss of the distributional range of this macaw species (1994)
- The monitoring of the macaw population using radio transmitters (1994-2010)
- Annual monitoring of macaw nests
- It was determined that 90% of macaw nests are found in ‘almendro’ trees (Dipteryx panamensis)
- Creation of the only scientific basis on the macaw in its area of distribution
- e detained the commerce of the macaw through the Environmental Education Program (1998).
- We led the creation and consolidation of the San Juan-La Selva Biological Corridor, considered a model in management of biological corridors on a national and international level.
- We led the movement for the creation of the Maquenque National Mixed Wildlife Refuge in 2005.
- We led the binational monitoring (with Nicaragua) of the macaw population.
- We coordinate the Binational Campaign for the Conservation of the macaw.
- We organize annually the Binational Festival of the Macaws Nicaragua-Costa Rica.
NOur studies have had repercussion in the following conservation policies:
- We provided the scientific basis for the national prohibition of the cutting of ‘almendro de montaña’ trees
- We generated input for the creation of the decree for the protection of nests in ‘almendro’ trees.
- We established a binational alliance with the Nicaragua River Foundation for the trans-frontier conservation of the Great Green Macaw.
We are concentrated on the follow-up of the monitoring of the breeding population in Costa Rica, we coordinate the monitoring in southeast Nicaragua and we continue to coordinate the Local Counsel of the San Juan-La Selva Biological Corridor, an alliance of 18 different organizations, approximately.
As well, we seek sustainable projects for the communities of Maquenque and San Juan-La Selva such as the Making use of ‘Almendro’ Trees Project.
Our dream is to raise funds in order to buy more land and to elevate the Maquenque Wildlife Refuge to national park.