Three baby parrots are growing in the artificial nest
Three baby parrots are growing in the artificial nest

Over the past three years, we have placed over 30 artificial nests high in the trees to provide safe nesting habitat for the yellow-naped Amazon parrot. This species is very intelligent, and so it is not surprising that it has taken a while for the birds to accept the nests as a safe place to raise a family.  But this month we found a great suprirse; three yellow-naped Amazon parrotlets are thriving in one of our artificial nests!

We just sent our team of avian specialists out to evaluate these baby birds and found the birds to be in excellent health (photographed above by Adelayde Rivas/USFS-IITF). We expect the young birds to fledge the nest in May and look forward to following their movements using radio-telemetry. As we learn the location of their preferred forest areas, we can work with landowners to protect those habitats. 

In addition to this great news, we have four artifical nests with white-fronted Amazons, another charismatic parrot under threat. Our community and private sector partners are working around the clock to protect artificial and natural nests to ensure these birds can safely fledge.

In 2015, this program received funding for work in the Paso del Istmo from  Loro-Parque Fundacion and the US Forest Service - International Institute for Tropical Forestry. Other private sector partners are assisting with this effort, including Nica Dev and Morgans Rock Ecolodge. We are also grateful for support from Parrots International in 2015 which enabled us to initiate collaborations with private reserves such as Reserva Quelantero & Hato Nuevo in order to identify new sites for yellow-naped Amazon protection across Nicaragua's dry tropical forests. 

Paso Pacífico made local news near our Ventura, CA headquarters with our crowdfunding campaign for Turtle Friend. Turtle Friend will become an app and website to watch, track, and protect sea turtles. The idea was conceived by two eight-year-olds who visited our sea turtle conservation project last summer. 
If you haven’t already, watch this cute VIDEO, pledge, and share the message with your fellow turtle friends.

The Loro Parque Fundacion has been a generous donor and partner to the yellow-naped Amazon parrot project since 2008. When we first started this program, we found more than three quarters of yellow-naped Amazon parrot nests were failing due to poaching and nest tree destruction. The Loro Parque Fundacion recognized this level of mortality threatens the survival of this species and generously stepped up to support our program year after year. Thanks to this partner, we have seven years of parrot monitoring data and a robust community protection program. We now also have threatened parrots reproducing in artificial nest cavities. Paso Pacífico acknowledges the invaluable guidance of Loro-Parque's conservation scientist Dr. David Waugh, who over the years has helped us to improve the design and outcomes of this program.
Thanks to the Loro Parque Fundacion, other generous project donors, and community partners. We are beginning to have hope and see a future for the yellow-naped Amazon parrot in Nicaragua. 

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Cristian Bonilla is a local para-biologist who has supported Paso Pacifico's wildlife research for over six years. Although Cristian has helped us study everything from bats to lizards, in recent years he has become a specialist for Amazon parrot conservation. Cristian is a skilled tree-climber and hiker and is very good at monitoring nests and following parrots using radio telemetry.

Cristian is admired and respected across the rural communities for his kindness and integrity. It is common to see community members turn to him for counsel and support.

Given Cristian's leadership role in the community, when people see his dedication to parrot conservation they follow his example and help to protect nests from poachers.

We are grateful to have Christian as part of our team and an ambassador for parrot conservation.

Earlier this month, Fashion Project launched a two week online fundraising campaign for Paso Pacífico raising over $2,400 dollars for our wildlife and forest conservation programs.
Fashion Project is an industry leader in upcycled clothing. Lightly used designer fashion sold on their website raises money for charities around the world.
We encourage you to consider selling your lightly used clothing to create donations for charity rather than leaving the items in the closet. To learn more about how to do this visit our Fashion Project page.
We are grateful to Fashion Project for its support and for including us among its charity beneficiaries.
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