Number of the wild Yellow-eared Parrots has been increased 50 times in the last 17 years

June 15th, 2016 | by LubosTomiska
Number of the wild Yellow-eared Parrots has been increased 50 times in the last 17 years
Conservation projects
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The wild population of a rare parrot is growing significantly because of the successful cooperation of Fundación Pro Aves and Loro Parque Fundación. In 1999, conservationists found last 81 Yellow-eared parrots on one of two most important locations in Colombia. Today, there are over 4251 individuals at the same place. Other birds are probably also found in Equador. However, that population is not managed. Therefore it was supposed that there are still more wild Yellow-eared Parrots.

“A product of the partnership between the Loro Parque Fundación (LPF) of Spain and Fundación ProAves of Colombia, the Yellow-eared Parrot (Ognorhynchus icterotis) project is arguably the most successful in South America,” said representatives of LPF on their official Facebook page.

“The LPF is the principal supporter of the project, and the headline news is that 2015 ended with a record number of Yellow-eared Parrots. At the main roost site in one of the two principal locations 4,251 individuals were counted – 50 times the original number,” they added.

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Guerilla helped to save the rare species

“The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has reduced the category of threat of the Yellow-eared Parrot from ‘Critically Endangered’ to ‘Endangered’,” was announced by LPF. This year counting was not the first sign that the population is actually growing. At the end of 2013, conservationists estimated that there are about 2600 birds living in the wild. However, the increase could be explained also by discovery of new locations. Those areas were under control of The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and therefore it had been not explored before. Commanders of FARC from Quindio region allowed conservationists to enter the area and realize the research.

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The Yellow-eared Parrot is dependent on a palm Ceroxylon quindiuense, parrots feed on its fruits and nest in the logs. However, leafs of those palms are also being used by local people for their rituals and traditions. This lead to vanishing of this tree. Representatives of Fundación Pro Aves pushed through the ban on using of leafs. This campaign was also supported by Vatican. What is more, in 2009, Pro Aves in cooperation with LPF and American Bird Conservancy bought land of 10 000 hectares in central part of Cordillera. In this area, Ceroxylon palms are protected and conservationists also hang artificial nest boxes on other trees.

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Title photo: (c) Bryant Olsen. This file is licensed under Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic.

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