Video: Captive-reared scarlet macaws get a second chance at life in the wild

Video: Captive-reared scarlet macaws get a second chance at life in the wild

Newly shared images show a cohort of 26 young scarlet macaws (Ara macao) released into the forest, part of ongoing efforts to buoy their populations in Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve. “All of us were very excited the day of the release, including the macaw chicks,” Rony García-Anleu of Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) scarlet macaw monitoring and recovery program in Guatemala told Mongabay. “The flight cage was open at 10 a.m., and by 2 p.m. there were already several macaws flying high above our camp,” García-Anleu said about the release in late August. “I can’t explain the excitement we all felt to see macaws that we raised since they were little chicks or incubated in our camp, having a second chance to live free in the jungle.” These birds are part of a program by WCS and Guatemala’s National Council of Protected Areas (CONAP) to increase scarlet macaw populations in the Maya Biosphere Reserve, a nature reserve which covers nearly one-fifth of the nation’s land area, and where an estimated 300 individual scarlet macaws remain in the wild. Scarlet macaws in the Maya Biosphere Reserve. Photo by USAID Guatemala via Flickr. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) The iconic scarlet macaw, known for its bright rainbow plumage, is threatened by habitat loss and degradation primarily by fires used to clear land for agriculture. Poaching by wildlife traffickers for the illegal parrot trade is also a major threat, especially to the population in the Maya Biosphere Reserve.  Scarlet macaws are listed on CITES Appendix I,…This article was originally published on Mongabay

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