A coalition of conservation groups in Guatemala is reporting tentative signs of success in their efforts to save the scarlet macaw from extinction. Because the species is critically endangered due to habitat loss and poaching, the groups are closely monitoring nests throughout the protected Maya Biosphere reserve to ensure as many newly hatched birds as possible reach adulthood.
Twenty-nine macaw chicks reached adulthood last year. And while that may not seem like a large number, the total Guatemalan macaw population is estimated at just 300. Wildlife Conservative Society Coordinator, Marcial Cordoba, says such a small population means protection efforts are more important than ever:
“It’s critical, because they’re in danger of extinction. We only have a small population here in the Laguna del Tigre area and the San Andres area and maybe 5% in the Sierra Lacandon. That’s why we’re fighting for the macaws, so their population can grow inside the forest and not in captivity.”