On Tuesday we learned that two Puerto Rican parrots were born in the wild in a natural nest cavity and later fledged –the first time this has happened outside El Yunque National Forest in more than 100 years. Puerto Rican parrots have always been found in El Yunque, but a second population was started in Río Abajo State Forest in the 1990s. And the nesting cavity was just outside Rio Abajo. With Puerto Rico and other partners, we have been working toward a self-sufficient parrot population in the wild for more than 40 years.
In celebration, Open Spaces reprints a story from last summer’s Fish & Wildlife News.
|The population of parrots was once estimated at a millionn but fell to 30 and lessc. Credit: Tom MacKenzie/USFWS|
At the Service’s Iguaca Aviary in Puerto Rico’s El Yunque National Forest, the science that is saving the rare Puerto Rican parrot from extinction is everywhere on display: in the wall of TV monitors that relay images from cameras hidden in each breeding pair’s nest cavity; in the sleek emergency care center, where sick birds can be quickly isolated and undergo surgery if needed; in the meticulous record-keeping on each bird’s history, behavior and genetics.