Edition: January 2012

Conservation in ACTION

We're pleased to introduce our newest project: Conservation Incentives for Protecting Nicaragua’s Yellow-Naped Amazon Parrot.

Through generous funding from the Loro-Parque Fundación, we are monitoring the threatened yellow-naped parrot in the dry forest habitat of the Paso del Istmo Biological Corridor in Nicaragua, where populations have declined precipitously in recent decades due to habitat loss and the illegal pet trade.

In addition to careful monitoring of parrot populations, the Fundacion Loro-Parque grant allows an incentive program which establishes financial rewards for each successfully fledged parrot. Similar to our successful sea turtle incentive payment programs, this new project establishes incentive payments to landowners and farmers who protect parrot nests from poachers. Whenever we can document that juvenile parrots are able to successfully leave their nests, we make a cash award.

We also have begun a pilot study for the use of artificial nest boxes for parrots in areas where we have observed loss of nesting trees due to coastal development. With the generous support of Thomas White of the USFS, who provided technical advice on the design and construction of nest boxes, and connected us to a network of parrot experts across Central America, we're now placing 20 nest boxes. Pictures of the nest boxes are on our parrot project page.

As with all of our integrative conservation programs, our parrot project also advances our parrot education, and incorporates community workshops and film nights. Additionally, we'll continue monitoring of all parrot and parakeet populations across the corridor, a program which began in 2008 and which enables us to monitor changes in populations.

To help your friends learn more about the challenges Yellow-naped Parrots face in Nicaragua, please share this video.

To learn more about the Loro-Parque Foundation, an affiliate of the Loro-Parque located in Tenerife, Spain, please visit their website. This zoo works to save some of the world’s most endangered parrots and provides a dynamic educational resource to who visit the park from around the world. The generous support of people visiting this zoo are what make our parrot conservation program possible. Thank you to all who have visited this special conservation center in the Canary Islands in recent years.

Paso Pacífico in the News

As we dive into the work we've begun with our Coastal-Marine Research Project, we're thrilled that our friend, David Kushner, a marine biologist, was quoted in this New York Times piece.

It's important to everyone interested in the ecosystem health of the Pacific, to learn about marine reserves and sustainable fisheries. The post at the New York Times Environment blog does just that.

To learn more about marine reserves watch the NYT Environment video.

We were also pleased that our ELLAS program and two of our enviropreneurs were featured on the Ashoka Changemakers blog last month.

As most of you probably know, Ashoka Changemakers is a global online community that supports everyone’s ability to be a changemaker by inspiring, mentoring, and collaborating with other members of the community at every level of changemaking. Their community includes over half a million members in 125 countries.

Partnerships make it possible

As we always try to highlight, our many NGO partners provide us with field staff, logistical support, and community building. We also leverage resources by cooperating with a network of conservation scientists who help us in the field. These experts in wildlife biology, ecology, and forestry and other sciences help us ensure our programs are based on (and contribute to) the latest scientific research.

Currently, Carol Chambers, a bat biologist from Northern Arizona University, is spending her sabbatical in Nicaragua to help us understand bat populations in fragmented landscapes like those found in Paso del Istmo. She is working with Bat Conservation International and 15 other bat researchers who have spent time in the field with her the past two months to support her research and strengthen our conservation efforts in Nicaragua.

If you know any conservation scientists (or aspiring scientists) who might be interested in working with us, please let us know.


Team member spotlight

Kim Williams-Guillén is Paso Pacifico's director of conservation science.

A PhD ecologist whose main interests involve the role of agricultural and human-managed lands in tropical mammal conservation, Kim coordinates Paso Pacífico’s long-term biodiversity monitoring programs and the application of conservation science for target species (such as migratory birds and the bats at Volcano Masaya).

You can learn more about Kim on our staff pages or on her website.

Help us save parrots!

Donate $100 to pay for an artificial nest box for the threatened Yellow-naped Parrots which have lost nesting habitat due to deforestation.

Donate $10 to plant ten silk floss trees (Ceiba sp.), which provide the parrots with their preferred nesting habitat.

Help your friends learn more about the challenges Yellow-naped Parrots face by sharing this video.

We're grateful to our newly assembled Marine Research Crew, pictured here (L to R): Arturo Bocos, Paso Pacifico's Jorlin Vargas and Salvador Sanchez, Benjamin Ruttenberg (NOAA), and David Kushner (NPS)

Our Marine Research Crew, made possible by a generous donation from DANIDA , helped us launch our Coastal-Marine Research Project last month.

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