Two new scarlet macaw fledglings are now flying over Cosigüina Volcano.
Two new scarlet macaw fledglings are now flying over Cosigüina Volcano.
Ranger teaching children about the role of scarlet macaws in the ecosystem
Two years ago, Paso Pacífico launched our scarlet macaw conservation program in the Cosigüina Volcano area in northern Nicaragua. The cyanoptera macaw (Ara macao cyanoptera) is a critically endangered subspecies of the scarlet macaw. The population in the region has suffered heavily as a result of habitat destruction and poaching for the illegal pet trade. By 2015, the population had dwindled to a mere 14 birds.
Last year, with support from Loro Parque Fundacion, we formed a corps of community rangers and began protecting and monitoring the macaw population. This season, we received more project support from the Brandywine Zoo and Projets Plus Action, enabling us to continue the work into a second year.
Recently, we were thrilled to discover a pair of macaws nesting in a tree cavity. Our community rangers immediately set up a system of 24/7 protection and after two months, two macaw chicks safely fledged the nest! This is the first successful macaw nest documented in the area in over 20 years
Two excited cyanoptera macaw fledglings inside their nest Cyanoptera macaw fledgling peeking out from its nest
To boost our conservation efforts, we have also been working closely with children and families from La Salvia, the village nearest to the macaw nesting area. We launched an educational program involving 35 kids in birdwatching and other field-based activities that highlight the significance of the cyanoptera macaw and the dry tropical forests at Cosigüina.
Additionally, through our Proyecto Noble Salud & Educacion in partnership with the American Nicaraguan Foundation, we have been able to provide further support to the children of La Salvia. This support comes in the form of water filters, supplemental food for school lunches, school supplies, and other educational materials. We look forward to continuing our work with the communities to protect the cyanoptera macaw and its habitat.
PRI article about Paso Pacífico's work
PRI’s The World recently featured our artificial turtle eggs! Their reporter spent a week with us in Nicaragua. Read the article to learn about their reporter’s experiences with Paso Pacífico and how the turtle eggs were developed. The World airs on over 300 radio stations across North America.
Rangers studying birds at a bird-banding research station
Through funding from the US Fish & Wildlife Service Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act, we are working in partnership with  the Institute for Bird Populations, Reserva Quelantero, and the Southern Sierra Research Station. Together, we wrapped up the first year of a migratory bird study aimed at protecting two endangered birds: the Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo and the Southwest Willow Flycatcher. During this past season we identified several key overwintering locations for willow flycatchers and linked the origin of the birds in North America through genetic analysis at the UCLA Conservation Genomics Lab. 
The program includes monthly overwintering monitoring at two bird-banding stations in Nicaragua (MoSI stations). One monitoring site is led by Reserva Quelantero and the other station is led by Paso Pacífico at the new Mono Bayo Private Reserve. The latter reserve was made possible through support from IUCN Netherlands and the United Postcode Lottery.
Our migratory bird conservation program also includes eight years of semiannual monitoring of migratory birds, which was made possible through our close partnership with USFS-IITF under the supervision of Dr. Wayne Arendt.
Willow flycatcher training Willow flycatcher
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Nicole Salazar, our Financial Director, has been at our US office for six years and counting. She is a calm and steady influence at the office. She majored in sociology for her bachelor's degree at Brigham Young University, minoring in business management. She has a talent for finances that was encouraged because it is a family trade: her father is a CPA. Nicole has three children and enjoys photography in her spare time. 
Nicole has spent the last few days working in Nicaragua. We deeply appreciate her experience, her willingness to help, and her meticulous and accurate work with our finances. She also celebrated a birthday last week. Happy birthday, Nicole!
Scarlet macaw pair
We are looking for used laptops in good working condition for researchers to use in the field. Please email
Mary and Terry Vogt
Paso Pacífico thanks Mary and Terry Vogt. We met these friends in Paso Pacífico’s first year, thanks to Terry’s expertise in conservation finance. Ever since, Mary and Terry have supported our organization with their wisdom and resources. Mary is an accomplished choral singer and the Vogts recently fundraised for us as part of their choral performance with Sing for America, which is a nonprofit organization that helps people raise funds through music. Mary and Terry, thank you very much for using your artistic talents to benefit nature. has a new design! Have you seen it yet?
Instagram - Ranger Julie Martinez
Instagram - Land and water view
Instagram - Diving
Instagram - Turtles entering the waves
Instagram - Stream