Edition: November 2012

Conservation in ACTION

When Paso Pacífico first launched its parrot study in December 2007, nearly everyone interviewed in our initial survey recommended our wildlife biologists speak to locally renowned parrot experts (and poachers) Marcial and Juan Carlos Pavón, then in their early twenties. Even as young boys, the brothers were shimmying high into the canopy to the natural trunk cavities where yellow-naped parrots build their nests.

Working with Paso Pacífico researcher Martín Lezama, Marcial and his brother taught us about parrot nesting habits and showed us the locations of all the parrot nests near Escamequita. In turn, we equipped them with GPS and taught them to georeference parrot nests, mapping data such as tree species, nest status, and monitoring the behavior of parrot pairs which mate for life. Marcial quickly saw the impact of deforestation and poaching on local parrot populations, and pledged to give up poaching, eventually convincing his brother to follow suit.

This January, we installed artificial nests and started an incentive payment program for fledgling parrots. Marcial and Juan Carlos and their tree climbing skills helped us place the artificial nesting boxes high up in the trees. Thanks to their reputations as former poachers themselves, they were also invaluable as we recruited other locals, offering conservation incentive payments to use their skills to report and monitor nests, making the transition from poachers to protectors as Marcial and Juan Carlos had done.

Marcial was an excellent ambassador for Paso Pacífico and for parrots, clearly communicating both the incentive program, as well as the global importance of local Yellow-naped Amazons. His goal was to recruit more and more farmers to join the program, bringing more and more parrot nests under protection. We are very sad to have lost Marcial to brain cancer this fall, but are grateful to have gained so much knowledge and inspiration from him. Our thoughts are with his family.

Above, Marcial is pictured with Thomas White of the US Fish & Wildlife Service and one of many nestboxes they camouflaged to match various parts of the canopy. Marcial's local knowledge ensured nestboxes were safely hidden in the highest trees.

Paso Pacífico in the News

The Partner News section of the current issue of WildHope Magazine Partner News section includes an update on our jaguar project.

Partnerships make it possible

Our study of the threatened yellow-naped parrot population in the dry forest habitat of the Paso del Istmo Biological Corridor is being conducted with financial and advisory support from our partners at the US Forest Service International Institute for Tropical Forestry and Parrots International. Our primary funders are the Loro-Parque Fundación, who also share their decades of experience in parrot research and protection.

We are pleased to join parrot lovers worldwide in congratulating Loro Parque on their 40th anniversary.


Team member spotlight

Meet Fernando, one of our star junior rangers.

Paso Pacífico's parrot program is managed by Martín Lezama-López, a wildlife biologist who taught for over a decade at the Universidad Centroamericana. Martin's newest student and the youngest member of his parrot-monitoring team is Fernando Hernández, a 10-year-old junior ranger from Collado. Since May of this year, Fernando has spent weekend mornings and evenings monitoring yellow-naped parrot roosts in the forest near his home and reporting his findings to Martín.

Already making valuable contributions to conservation science, Fernando gives us hope for the next generation of parrot protectors.

Sponsor a junior ranger today!

Save an Amazon parrot
Donate $100 to build an artificial nest box and protect Yellow-naped parrot nests from poachers.

Sponsor a Junior Ranger
Donate $50 to fund a junior ranger and develop the next generation of biodiversity stewards in coastal Nicaragua.

Plant a Tree
Donate $10 to plant native trees where parrots prefer to roost, nest, and forage.

We'd like to thank our founding board president, Sandra Pearson (pictured above) for her many years of service, as well as board members Rodolfo Dirzo and Julia Medina.

All of these great friends of Paso Pacífico have served six years, guiding our organization from its early stages. Each of them has helped us grow and achieve much success.

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© 2006 Paso Pacífico
USA Address: PO Box 1244 • Ventura, CA 93002-1244 • Phone: 1-805-643-7044