First day of the climbing workshop as Parakeet Rangers should the Macushi word for Sun Parakeet, "Keseé."
Early September days in Karasabai, Guyana can have some rain and some heat, but not too much of each. What was abundant a few weeks ago were those who gathered to conserve the endangered sun parakeet. I journeyed to Karasabai with colleagues from the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the US Forest Service, both organizations of which support the parakeet conservation project. USFWS offers advice and substantial financial support through the Caribbean Grant Grant Program (supported by USAID). The USFS lent us two experienced tree climbing instructors who work with the Puerto Rican Parrot Recovery Program. All this collaboration is to help recover the sun parakeet, whose numbers in the wild may only be in the hundreds due to trapping for the wildlife trade.
It is a steep hill to climb to bring back this parakeet to sustainable level, but if anyone can it will be these parakeet rangers, and they’ll do it by climbing every parakeet roost and nest cavity that they can. But first they have to safely learn to do so, and this is where Jessica Ilse and Victor Prado-Marcano of the USFS enter the story. They led a 7-day tree climbing workshop that will go a long way to conserving the parakeet, and to providing skills for other conservation projects in Guyana. Their effort, along with our supporters and the rangers, means that we can follow every rainbow till we find our dream come true – that one day huge flocks of sun parakeets will fly free throughout their once wide range in Southern Guyana.
Climb every mountain Search high and low Follow every highway Every path you know
(from "Climb Every Mountain" Rogers and Hammerstein's "Sound of Music")
Walking back to the Ireng River between Guyana and Brazil after climbing a sun parakeet cavity
Rangers cross a creek on their way to a sun parakeet active cavity
Climb every mountain Ford every stream Follow every rainbow 'Till you find your dream
Parakeet rangers going home on the Ireng River after climbing nest cavities
A dream that will need All the love you can give Every day of your life For as long as you live
A long time dream finally came true in September 2022. The first ever sun parakeet nest cavity climbed by the scientific/conservation community (trappers have climbed trees before)
Climb every mountain Ford every stream Follow every rainbow 'Till you find your place
Parakeet Ranger of Karasabai finding her place as a conservationist in her village