Man threatens the existence of Scarlet Macaws in the Honduras

Parrots are another species of the bird family that are extremely intelligent, very affectionate and social. They tend to mate for life and many have very long lifespans up to 50 years or more. In the Honduras, there a many types of parrots that are indigenous to the area but the most spectacular of them all is the beautiful Scarlet Macaw. It is the national bird of Honduras and it played a significant role in the ancient Mayan culture where it was regarded as the sacred sun bird. Scarlet Macaws are very colorful and dramatic birds but they are quickly losing their place in the sun as specific outside factors are threatening their existence in the wild. If something isn't done to stop these factors they may soon go the way of the great green macaw, or buffon, which is virtually extinct.

Of course these outside factors are man-made ones consisting of loss of habitat and the most insidious practice of poaching. Although it is illegal to import and sell wild parrots into the U.S. now, there are still many places in the world that welcome these birds and the poachers can make a lot of money from even the sale of just one bird. Even though only 10 percent of poached wild birds survive in captivity, poaching of parrots is still big business in the Honduras.

In just the month of October of this year, over 218 parrots (mostly conures in this case) were confiscated at the Nicaraguan border. Dehydrated, injured and close to death, they were taken to the Tegucigalpa Metropolitan Zoo to see if they could be saved. Despite the valiant efforts by the workers there, over 65 percent of the birds died. Poachers most often use machetes to hack into the nests and not only capture the fledgling birds but will also destroy the nest for other birds as well. This causes even greater stress on the existing flocks.

But the biggest threat to the Scarlet Macaws and other parrot species is the loss of habitat caused also by man. This is done through the use of logging of old forests, burning, and deforestation. These destructive activities have eliminated food sources and nesting sites for the parrots. This in turn has decimated the numbers of wild birds and destabilized the delicate natural environment. As with all of nature everything is intertwined. When parrots eat, they have a tendency to drop two thirds of what they eat to the ground. This assures that the small ground animals have access to seeds, nuts and fruits found high in the trees and also causes the reseeding of the forest floor.

The only place left in the Honduras where the Scarlet Macaws still fly free in the wild is in La Moskitia. Although efforts are being made to protect these wonderful birds it is an uphill battle when big money is involved. If it cannot be stopped soon, the only places you will be able to see these magnificent parrots will be in the zoos and private preserves such as the Copán Archeological Park, the Macaw Mountain Bird Park and Nature Preserve in Copán Ruinas, the Scarlet Macaw Reintroduction Project in the Gulf of Fonseca.

VIDEO: A trailer for the documentary Free Flight, about the indigenous people and scarlet macaws of Eastern Honduras.

Responses to "Saving the Scarlet Macaws of Honduras (Video)"

  1. Anonymous says:

    Many people want to increase their muscle mass
    and create a toned, developed body that is not only
    aesthetically pleasing, but strong and healthy as well.
    Yes we would like muscle, but in the right way, and gaining lean muscle without fat
    is the key to doing this. Whenever upgrades became
    ready you'll fully grasp this totally free no matter what quantity of money cost to establish them.

    Also visit my site: Somanabolic Muscle Maximizer Results

Write a comment