On Friday August 14th, the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) supervised the release of 29 macaws (guacamayas) back to the wild. They were taken to the Biosphere Reserve of “Los Tuxtlas” (Reserva de la Biosfera de Los Tuxtlas), in the Southern Mexican State of Veracruz. The birds spent several months under guard of biologists in Quintana Roo.
The recently released birds add to the 43 that had already been reinstated in previous years, for a total of 72 specimens that have been succesfully released back to their natural habitat and that are considered suitable for reproduction.
The monitoring program has been carried out by Doctor Patricia Escalante Pliego, who along with students from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), managed to contribute to the recovery of these parrots listed in the “Norma Oficial Mexicana (NOM) -059” as endangered species.
“Macaws that were released in two previous stages have responded positively in their return to the wild“, according to Escalante Pliego, who claims that these animals have a greater chance of survival when released in Protected Natural Areas (“Areas Naturales Protegidas”) , because food and nesting sites are available, plus they are less likely to be victims of poaching.
Conanp started the first stage of this “Program for Conservation of Species at Risk” (Programa de Conservación Especies en Riesgo: Procer) in early 2014 .
The State Governments of Quintana Roo, Chiapas and Veracruz, implemented informational forums, workshops and lectures in elementary schools and rural communities surrounding the “Natural Protected Areas”, where these birds are released, in order to educate the people, make them aware of the importance of preserving these endangered species; let them know that hunting and poaching are illegal activities and ask them to protect these animals, which population is at risk and has decreased significantly over the past 20 years.
This program and the Conservation of the Jaguar, are considered the most important and successful ecological conservation projects in Quintana Roo and both show significant progress, according to reports by the regional Conanp in the Yucatan Peninsula and the Mexican Caribbean.
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