Santiago Lacuth climbing a macaw nest tree in La Moskitia, Honduras

Seeing Wild Chicks in Nests Makes Me Very Happy!

Dr. LoraKim Joyner interviews Santiago Lacuth, an indigenous leader of the Miskito people and also co-director of the new Rescue and Research Center of Mabita. He reports that he feels very happy when he see that the birds are in their wild nests, and have not been poached.

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Yellow-headed parrot in Cuyamel, Honduras

Putting Our Heads Together for the Yellow-headed Parrot

We now have an official count of the minimum number of yellow-headed amazon parrots in Northern Honduras. We were there in February 2015 and saw 13 and one nest. There are probably more, and there need to be many more of them, and that will take work, time, and commitment. Thanks to the Saint Vincent Group for making this work possible!

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Location of yellow-headed parrots

Hope Still Flies Over Guatemala

In November 0f 2013 I was surprised to learn from a couple of birders that the yellow-headed amazon parrot (Amazona oratrix) historically occurred in Guatemala. This surprised me because I had not seen it on any of the major lists of parrots for this area, although the species does occur right over the borders into […]

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Black Rhino

To Kill Or Not To Kill, That is Not the Question

Conservation practices are about asking the right questions. In the case of shooting rhinos in Africa by trophy hunters as a means to raise money, we must ask if it is appropriate to kill one individual for the well being of the whole. We must also ask other questions so that we can nurture nature in the best possible and peaceful means. This begins a new series: Nurturing Our Nature: Ours, Theirs, Everyone’s.

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Parrots Not Going Gentle into the Night

Parrots Not Going Gentle into the Night

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night – Dylan Thomas Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Though wise men at their end know dark is right, Because their words had forked no lightning they […]

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American Museum of Natural History

American Museum of Natural History – Knowing Our Past Gets Us All to the Future

Vigilance never dims for the cause of parrot conservation in Central America, although the intensity of efforts decrease after the vulnerable time of reproduction when chicks are susceptible to predation, human and non.  This gives conservationists a short chance to recover before gearing back up for the 2014 field season. Accordingly, the Guatemala scarlet macaw […]

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Scarlet Macaws Flying Home in Palenque

Scarlet Macaws Flying Home in Palenque

  I like many others am very curious about the Mayan culture, especially so in my case because all of the countries in which I have projects claim Mayan ancestors.  Because of this my spouse and I have been hooked on a board game: Tzolk’in – the Mayan Calender. It has gears that spin like depictions of […]

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Resurrecting Hope in Conservation: With De-extinction, Compassion, or Both?

In late March 2013 the subject of de-extinction went public in a variety of ways, including the cover story for April’s National Geographic.  At nearly the same time, 25 scientists gathered at National Geographic’s headquarters in Washington, DC for a forum called  “TEDxDeExtinction.”  De-extinction as a new term is where molecular biology and conservation biology […]

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Ivory and Irony

Ivory and Irony

As illegal wildlife trade increases around the world, governance and international organizations are directing more of their energy to this situation.  They are doing this not just for the benefit of biodiversity and to decrease extinction rates, but because what is good for the environment and other species is also good for humans.  Protecting natural […]

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Future Extinctions Can Be Stopped

Future Extinctions Can Be Stopped

A remarkable paper came out recently that puts into perspective the cost it would take to save the planet.  In this paper, which was published in Science, the authors found that stopping all future extinctions would cost about $80 billion a year.  These funds would cover the $4 billion to lower the extinction risk for […]

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What's A Kakapo to You

What’s A Kakapo to You?

How much would you pay to keep a certain species from going extinct?  This question demands our moral attention much like another question that frequently arises amongst friends and colleagues:  “How much would you pay to have cancer palliative care offered to your dog:  $5,000, $10,000 ,$20,000?” There is no easy answer to this question […]

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Spreading the News – Vulnerable!

Good news just broke out last week – the Yellow-naped Amazon species is now considered vulnerable to extinction!  This exclamation might appear a bit bizarre. I mean really. Who celebrates when a species’ existence on this planet becomes vulnerable to extinction?  Well I do and so do many others who contributed to the recent review […]

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Choosing Which Species Go Extinct

Choosing Which Species Go Extinct

This past weekend I attended the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  This is my first encounter with this organization,  and I was pleased to meet the leaders of this organization as I experienced a warm, welcoming, and passionate atmosphere at the conference.  While there I presented two workshops:  Ethics of Wildlife Medicine […]

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A Species Recovery Plan for An Extinct Species

A Species Recovery Plan for An Extinct Species

Last night I saw the movie, “Ghost Bird,” about the recent sightings (and following controversy surrounding the legitimacy of those findings) of the Ivory Billed Woodpecker (IBW). This movie brought up so many “what ifs” in my mind. What if we knew then in the 1930’s what we know now? Even a small group of […]

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Macaws In The Blood

Macaws In The Blood

In the last three weeks I have been working with the Wildlife Conservation Society in Guatemala to see what’s in the blood of the wild Scarlet Macaws. Specifically we collected blood samples from the chicks in the nests so we could conduct blood parasite, genetic, serum biochemistry, and hematology exams. The purpose of this work […]

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A Jaguar’s Killing Price

April 28, 2011. While in Guatemala working with Scarlet Macaw conservation, I continue to be impressed how Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) works with the human dimensions of conservation. One way that they do this is by addressing the conflicts between jaguars and humans. As ranchers extend their land into the forests, their cattle come into […]

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