If the Red-fronted Macaw goes extinct, Bolivians would lose a species unique to their country. ABC and local partner Armonía are promoting awareness of this endangered species and participation in its conservation.
This parrot can be found only in dry inter-Andean valleys of central Bolivia. Its population is rapidly declining, primarily due to trafficking of the birds to supply the illegal pet trade and persecution by local farmers, who consider it a pest.
With our support, local partner Armonía established the 120-acre Red-fronted Macaw Nature Reserve to protect the largest known breeding colony. The group also constructed a lodge for birdwatchers and nature lovers.
Today, the reserve is operated by local communities, which also share in tourism profits. They also earn income through the sale of honey produced on site.
Working with other partners, local communities, and the municipalities of Omereque and Aiquile, ABC helped designate two massive areas spanning 500,000 acres where agricultural development, timber extraction, and hunting are restricted in the heart of the Red-fronted Macaw’s range.
Though these community-based efforts to protect the habitat and nesting cliffs have been quite successful, more work is needed to end trade of this species and persecution of macaws.
ABC and Armonía are conducting an education campaign across the species’ range to encourage pride in this species unique to Bolivia and to discourage trafficking and persecution. In 2012, the colorful bird was adopted as a regional symbol of pride and identity, and the macaw now decorates official government vehicles and buildings.
To address the threats of the illegal pet trade and persecution, we must first gain a better understanding of where the hotspots are for this type of activity, including where the birds are being trapped and sold to the traffickers.
As a result, we are conducting surveys in the Caine, Mizque, Río Grande, and Pilcomayo River basins to create a detailed threat assessment and to create a strategic action plan to reduce these threats.