Macaw Conservation

Tiskita hosts and helps to support one of the first and longest-running Scarlet Macaw conservation programs in the world. Since 2002, over 75 Scarlet Macaws were released in Tiskita in the context of a reintroduction program.

In 2014, the Wild Macaw Association was founded, a nonprofit for the protection and study of the macaws released in Tiskita, and their wild-born offspring. The reintroduction program has become a long-term conservation program. It includes habitat protection, community involvement in macaw related conservation activities, and more.

Your donation helps us to keep the Scarlet Macaw conservation program going!

Scarlet Macaw Reintroduction Program in Tiskita

The Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) was extinct in the area. Nine groups were released between 2002 and 2014. The reintroduction program has now ended because a viable population has been established that is large enough to spread out and connect with populations further north along the coast.

The reintroduction program has been successful so far. The released macaws have high survival rates, and they have been successfully reproducing (in the wild!) since 2008.

New releases may take place in the future. They will use rehabilitated macaws, e.g. rescued macaw chicks from the illegal wildlife trade, instead of macaws that came from the late Richard and Margot Frisius’ former breeding center.

Reintroduction Process

The reintroduction process has three stages: acclimatization, release, and adaptation to the wild. The macaws stay in a pre-release aviary for two months before their release to acclimatize to the local climate, food, and wildlife.

After release, the macaws enter a critical stage that can last up to a year; they need to become self-sustainable. During this stage, supplementary feeding is provided.

Scientific Study

Once released, the macaws are monitored to make sure they are doing well and in the context of a scientific study. The scientific study focuses on five behaviors: survival, foraging, dispersal, social interaction, and reproduction.

Scarlet Macaw Conservation Program in Tiskita

Now that the reintroduction program has ended, a new conservation program has been developed to protect the newly established Scarlet Macaw population in the area. The Wild Macaw Association was founded for this purpose by Tiskita’s biologist Ilona Thewissen and other specialists.

Wild Macaw Association

The Wild Macaw Association, a Costa Rican nonprofit founded in 2014, continues the scientific study on the ecology and social behavior of the released macaws and their wild-born offspring. The study has been ongoing since 2002.

The new Scarlet Macaw conservation program, carried out by the Wild Macaw Association in Tiskita and surroundings, also includes:

  • Habitat protection and restoration
  • Conservation education and community involvement
  • Rescue and rehabilitation (in development)
  • Conservation of other native parrot species

Website expected online late 2015.

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