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Down for the Count

Updated: Feb 11, 2023

In July, parrot people in Honduras and Guatemala came together to do the first b-inational count of the endangered yellow-headed parrot. The count involved boats, horses, bikes, and a lot of walking. The idea was to count in both countries at the same time, so we could rule out any birds that could have been counted twice, each in both countries. We were not able to count in all locations in Guatemala, so we cannot say for certain how many birds there are – other than to say that the density of this species is scarce and the percentage of chicks is very low in both countries, where there is tremendous habitat loss and pressure from poaching.

Walking in to the counting location

First afternoon of the count

Second night of the count

Walking out of the first count location and into the second location

We also counted several other species, including the red-lored amazon, the white-fronted amazon, and the olive-throated parakeet. These species, too, experience threats from poaching and habitat loss.

Boating in to the count area

Counting in the swamp with mangroves

Getting the boat from one swampy area to another

Counting in the swamp

We will continue to count the birds every year, and it may be that, as in Honduras over a couple of years, the count will continue to go down. Our hope is that with intervention we can reverse this trend. We give thanks to the Coypu Foundation, who generously awarded One Earth Conservation with a grant for this work in 2022, as well as to our partners in 2021, CONAP and Cuerpo de Conservación, in Honduras.

A new day for counting, and a new year for the parrots and people

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