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Preserving Mayan Ruins and Parrots

For the last couple of years, volunteers at Tak A'lik Ab'aj Archeological Park in Southern Guatemala have been counting yellow-naped parrots in hopes of understanding them, and then developing conservation plans to protect them. They do this alongside protecting the memory of the Olmec and Mayan culture as found in the ruins of the city all around them.

Twice a month, these volunteers arrive early before work hours, and stay after work, so as to count the parrots. They have also worked to find nests and document if they have any successes in and around their park.

While counting birds, this lineated woodpecker was using last year's parrot nest, to our disappointment. The chances are then that this won't be an active nest this year.

Lineated woodpecker

Right after the new year, they hosted a training we offered, and once again came in early and stayed late so as to study the birds. They then went to a neighboring ranch (finca) to mark possible nest trees so they would not be cut down. In the weeks to come, these volunteers will work with our project coordinator to monitor and protect nests.

We honor these efforts, and those to come, for we hope to make Tak A'lik a regional center for rescuing and liberating parrots, educating the public, and offering artificial nest boxes to the wild parrots to promote reproduction. Some day historians will unearth the monumental effort of the people here, but before then, let us thank them, each and every one.

The voluteers of Tak A'lik along with Dr. LoraKim Joyner (upper left) and Project Coordinator Manuel Galindo (lower right)

Alberto Gómez Villagrés

Mario Rolando Barrios Ciguenza

Amílcar Silvestre Pérez Ciguenza

Amílcar Estuardo Juárez Méndez

Pedro David González Rivera

Able Amílcar Monterroso García

Alberto Víil Huinil

Victor Flores

Carlos Espigares

Migues Medina

Marvin A. Castillo

Thanks to the directors of Archaeological National Park Tak’alik Ab’aj – Miguel Orrego Corzo and Christa Schieber de Lavarreda

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