People and Parrots of Honduras and Guatemala: Update 2010

Acknowledgement: Funded by Lafeber Company, LoraKim Joyner, Wildlife Conservation Society, Gainesville Bird Fanciers, Instituto para la Ciencia y la Conservción de la Biodiversidad en Honduras, Universidad Pedagógica Nacional Francisco Morazan

Honduras

Lafeber conservation

Goals Accomplished 2010:

  1. Presentation at Universidad Pedagógica Nacional Francisco Morazan, (National Autonomous University of Honduras and Instituto para la Ciencia y la Conservción de la Biodiversidad en Honduras also invited and students attended): “Avian Conservation in Mesoamerica: The intersection of veterinary medicine, biology, and human rights.”
  2. Conducted a collaborative field investigation of the status of the Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) in La Mosquitia, Honduras and preliminary evaluation of nest and chick health, including field instruction in conservation medicine. Collaborators include the three organizations listed in #1.
    For more details, see Status Update 2009
  3. Initiated long term working group to investigate and stabilize population of psittacines in La Mosquitia through teaching at universities, ongoing field investigation and teaching, and establishment of biological research station in Mabita, La Mosquita. Dr. Joyner was invited to be on the faculty of University Pedagogica to teach conservation medicine in the field.
  4. Presented 2-day course in avian conservation, rescue, rehabilitation, management, and liberation at the Tegucigalpa Metropolitan Zoo.
  5. Conducted a collaborative field investigation of the status of indigenous communities in La Mosquitia, including ecosystem health and human security issues.
  6. Conducted an ethno-ornithological research to develop approaches and techniques in sustainable compassionate conservation techniques, to be presented at the International Congress of Conservation Biology in Edmonton, Canada July 2010, “Flocking and Flying High Together: Avian Conservation as Lived Religion.”
  7. Documented status of parrots, ecosystems, and people through pictures, video, and internet reporting (Liberating Wings blog, Parrots International Magazine blog, Lafeber Conservation and Wildlife blog, Liberating Wings Twitter, and Lafeber Conservation and Wildlife Facebook page).
  8. Donated Nutristart and Emeraid Carnivore and Omnivore to psittacine rescue efforts of confiscated parrots at National Zoo.
  9. Advised university student psittacine rescue group for confiscated parrot and treat their group of sick White-fronted Amazon chicks.

Findings:

  1. Thirteen macaw nests were identified in the Rus Rus area. The majority had signs of poaching. Only 2 chicks were handled, both of which were slightly to moderately thin. Two other nests had chicks which could not be removed. Others had eggs or were empty. Honduran biologists suspected some kind of climate/environmental shifting due to the young age of nests late in the season.
  2. Significant human security issues in area hamper conservation practices, but a working group from the Universities , governmental agencies, NGO’s, and indigenous people are willing to work in the area to stabilize the people and parrot populations.
  3. Honduras does not currently have a significant parrot project and they desire collaboration to handle various aspects of parrot conservation, including field research and management, education and awareness, community development, law enforcement, avian medicine for confiscated parrots, and rehabilitation.

Next Steps:

  1. Lafeber Conservation and Wildlife will work with various agencies to build and maintain a biological research station in Mabita, La Mosquitia. This includes seeking international support and conducting and teaching avian conservation medicine in 2011.

Guatemala

Goals Accomplished 2010:

  1. Consulted with Wildlife Conservation Society’s Scarlet Macaw conservation program in areas of conservation medicine, especially psittacine pediatrics, pediatric nutrition and feeding, incubation, and disease surveillance of psittacines (wild and captive).
  2. Assist in setting up field incubation center in El Peru, Laguna del Tigre National Park, Mayan Biosphere Reserve.
  3. Donated Nutristart and Emeraid Omnivore and Carnivore and offered a presentation on the use of feeding supplements to conservation team members.
  4. Presented to San Carlos University Masters in Conservation and Wildlife Management: “Avian Conservation in Mesoamerica: The intersection of veterinary medicine, biology, and human rights,” and “Rescue, Rehabilitation, and Liberation of Psittacines.”
  5. Investigated field sites for promoting avian conservation in the Southcoast of Guatemala where the Yellow-naped Amazon is threatened.
  6. Taught avian conservation in the field to veterinary students at Facultad de Veterinaria and Zootechnica at San Carlos University.
  7. Arranged for and attended a meeting of interested parties to form working group for conservation of psittacines in the southcoast of Guatemala. This includes census of targeted areas, including the 1990 –1996 Proyecto Loro census areas, education and awareness, captive breeding, protection, reforestation, and avitourism.
  8. Donated to WCS conservation medical kit: 2500 gram psola, various syringes/needles, feeding syringes and needles, assorted supplies, vibromycin and digital caliper (given in part with Gainesville Bird Fanciers).
  9. Assisted WCS in working with BBC for program highlighting their conservation efforts.
  10. Met with officials to form collaborative group to sample psittacines for infectious diseases (conservation veterinarians, WCS biologists, and CONAP).
  11. Documented status of parrots, ecosystems, and people through pictures, video, and internet reporting (Liberating Wings blog, Parrots International Magazine blog, Lafeber Conservation.

Findings:

  1. The time is now for widespread collaboration in Guatemala for Southcoast psittacines:
    • a. Have support of CONAP (similar to USFWS)
    • b. Have support of San Carlos University
    • c. Have support of Mesa National and National Association of Private Reserves
    • d. Sugar cane monoculture continues to heavily impact ecosystems and Yellow-naped Amazon populations appear drastically reduced in the last 20 years.
    • e. Have support from Lafeber Conservation and Wildlife
    • f. A small working group formed in May 2010 and agreed to be a nucleus for a growing working group in the next year.
  2. The WCS Scarlet Macaw project benefited greatly from the consultation LCW offered last year and Dr. Joyner remains a member of this conservation team.

Next Steps:

  1. Continue to collaborate with newly formed southcoast Yellow-naped Amazon Working Group. Assistance from Lafeber Conservation and Wildlife includes: energetic support and consultation, international networking and publicity, funds, in-country teaching and facilitation, and focus on research and management experimentation.
  2. Consult for and get permits for sample submission from Guatemala (and Honduras) to identify parasites and disease exposure in captive and wild populations.
  3. Arrange for census of prior parrot census areas (3 finca sanctuary system that is now mostly sugar cane fields).
  4. Attend/present at Mesoamerica Psittacine Conference, Costa Rica, November 2010.

Looking for more information on avian conservation? Go to Lafeber.com: Conservation.