Updated: Apr 23
Each red spot marks a wildfire in Central America on Earth Day, April 22, 2020. Fire burns in the forests cared for by conservationists, and also in their hearts.
One Earth Conservation works with hundreds of people in the Americas, who protect their parrots for a whole variety of reasons. Whatever the reason, motivation must be high enough to meet the challenges of parrot conservation which are many. Parrot conservation is not for the faint of heart, given the lack of funding, the pressure of the illegal wildlife trade, and the presence often of corruption, social dysfunction, and civil unrest.
For instance, in this past month conservationists in our projects had to face:
Two wild scarlet macaw chicks killed when a wildfire burned down their nest tree in Honduras (photo by Mario Lopez)
1. A night in jail because they were walking on the street on a day that was not their day to be outside. In Honduras, you can only be out one day a week due to the pandemic
2. The death of a colleague who was killed by the police at a check point set up to insure that people were inside before the curfew began at 4 p.m. in Guatemala
3. The death of two wild scarlet macaw chicks whose nest was burned by a wildfire and a great loss of other wildlife as wildfires ravage Central America
4. A car accident that heavily damaged their field vehicle in Guatemala
The paradox of parrot conservation is that the heart is constantly wounded by the loss and harm to parrots and people, and is also healed and inspired. Even If you began the work without intense feelings, these soon develop.
The yellow-naped amazon parrot is unable to leave palm tree because her leg is caught by a piece of twine. Her mate does not leave her.(photo by Manuel Galindo)
Manuel Galindo is our field coordinator for COLORES, a consortium of organizations, ranches, and individuals who are working to save the endangered yellow-naped amazon. Last month while working at one of our conservation “hot spots” an adult parrot was trapped by twine in a tree.
Her foot was hurt by the twine, but she was well enough to join her mate the next day
He worked with the local ranch hands and owners to rescue the bird, and they were successful (special thanks to Las Magaritas owner Tono Bonafasi who was instrumental in saving this parrot and many others). They had to keep the bird overnight to ensure that no bone was broken or that there wasn’t a severe injury. The following day the parrot was released (see video below).
Manuel wrote me to tell me of their success, and added, “Now I understand more your love for parrots. This rescue has been one of my best experiences.” I responded to him, “To touch a parrot is to have them touch our heart.”
We try to touch our parrots very little. Only when is it necessary to save their life and well-being do we handle wild birds. Conservationists like Manuel, and many others, impact parrots’ lives for the better all the time. They develop a heart inspired touch that pervades their work, knowing that every moment and every day is for earth and her beings.
If you'd like to help save parrots and forests, such as do our conservationists, and have a heart inspired, please consider joining our Parrot Conservation Corps.