Guatemala Census and Celebration
June 10-15th, 2019
The yellow-naped parrot is endangered, critically so in the Pacific Coast of Guatemala. Dr. LoraKim Joyner first worked with this species in 1987, and wrote a memoir, "Conservation in Time of War," about the challenges and rewards of working for parrot conservation during the Guatemala Civil War. Over 30 years later she continues the fight with others who are working at 6 conservation areas to protect nests from the relentless pressure of the illegal wildlife trade that has decimated this population. Once tens of thousands flew free here, now maybe only 400.
Las Tarrales, one of our 6 sites
Every year after the nesting season, project members go to these 6 sites to count parrots. This way they can see how many juveniles and young chicks are flying with adults, and this helps tell them how many nests were successful. One Earth Conservation and partners there invite you to join them at 4 of the sites, as two are private ranches (fincas) that do not want to advertise their parrots to the public. Dr. Joyner will be leading the tour, offering wisdom, information, and stories of parrot conservation, not only about Guatemala, but from the many other countries in which she has worked.
The road to Patrocinio
We will visit Las Tarrales, a finca and eco-reserve, known for its magnificent birding and accomodations for tourists (June 11th). We then go on to Las Magaritas (June 13th) a private finca that released confiscated parrots over a decade ago. The parrots still return occasionally to feed on the patio, and sometimes bring their chicks with them. Next we visit El Patrocinio (June 14th), like Tarrales, an eco-reserve where you can count parrots under the billowing and active volcano, St. Miguelito. Finally we end up at Tak'alik Ab'aj Archeological Park (June 15th), where you can count parrots among pyramids and treasures of the past.
Volcano erupting during a parrot count
At each of these 4 places you will count parrots as the sun sets. When not counting you can enjoy the view and have a meal, go birding, join the daily discussion and lecture group, and help celebrate with the location's people and children.
Counting amid the pyramids at Taka'lik Ab'aj Archeological Park
This is the first year we have invited the public to join us, and so in 2019 you get to help us design this for our temporary conservation team - which you are a part of if you come! We are not officially providing transportation or lodging, but we will help you figure out all the logistics you need to join us for one location, or all 4!
Please let us know if you are interested so we can hold you a spot and make sure you have lodging. Also contact us for more information and guidance on arranging your trip.