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Parrot Conservation Grows in Islands of Hope

We are just now wrapping up our field season on the twin volcano island of Ometepe, Nicaragua.

Maderas Volcano, Ometepe

This is our first season to monitor nests and to find out what might be keeping this flock of yellow-naped amazon parrots from flourishing. We also worked with community members to patrol the area. We monitored nests in the near sea-level forest patch known as Peña Inculta, and the cultivated and forested slopes of Volcano Maderas in Merida (whose nests reached over 400 meters!). We also did population monitoring of these two study sites on the island.

Some of us folks need a horse to get up to the higher nests

Horse resting under a nest tree

Here is what we are learning so far:

1. This is probably the most dense population of the endangered yellow-naped parrot in the world

2. This population suffers heavy nest poaching so people can sell the birds into the illegal wildlife trade.

3. With such heavy poaching, along with continual edging away of natural habitat that supply food and nest trees, this population is at risk.

4. We have put together a great team that is consistently improving their commitment and capacity to protect these parrots.