top of page

Climb Every Mountain, Climb Every Tree

Updated: Feb 11, 2023

First day of the climbing workshop as Parakeet Rangers shout 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 either. 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 (USFWS) and the US Forest Service (USFS), which both support the parakeet conservation project. The USFWS offers advice and substantial financial support through the agency's 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. Our collaborative work is meant 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 this parakeet back to a sustainable level. If anyone can do this, it will be the local 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 how 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 in early September that provided the rangers with the necessary skills that will go a long way towards conserving the parakeet and will help other conservation projects in Guyana as well. Their efforts, along with our supporters and the rangers, means that we can follow every rainbow till we reach our dream – 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

("Climb Every Mountain" from Rogers and Hammerstein's "Sound of Music")

Walking back to the Ireng River between Guyana and Brazil

after climbing up to a sun parakeet cavity

Rangers cross a creek on their way to a sun parakeet active nest 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 up to 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 longtime dream finally came true in September 2022. For the first time, the scientific/conservation community climbed up a tree to a sun parakeet nest cavity

(trappers have climbed trees before).

Climb every mountain Ford every stream Follow every rainbow 'Till you find your dream

A Parakeet Ranger of Karasabai finding her place as a conservationist in her village

93 views0 comments


bottom of page