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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Releases Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Reintroduction of Puerto Rican Parrots in the Rio Abajo Commonwealth Forest in Puerto Rico

 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 29, 2006


Contacts:
Lilibeth Serrano,
787-851-7297ext 239 or 787-505-4397
Tom MacKenzie,
404-679-7291


Once abundant and widespread throughout the Puerto Rican archipelago, the Puerto Rican parrot (Amazona vittata) is now one of the 10 most endangered birds in the world. Habitat loss together with natural enemies is considered among the major causes for a precipitous decline of the species during the 20th century. Currently, a single wild population of 18-20 individuals survives in the Caribbean National Forest (El Yunque). Over 210 additional parrots are reproducing within two aviaries to ensure the survival of the species.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources and the Forest Service identified the need to create additional segregated populations in the Recovery Plan for the Puerto Rican Parrot. This action is expected to minimize the risks caused by catastrophic events, predation and other threats.

In order to achieve this goal, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service prepared an Environmental Assessment comparing possible alternatives and outlining steps needed to carry out this action. The Rio Abajo Forest in the Municipality of Utuado is the preferred location for a second wild population.

The Environmental Assessment considers alternatives for how it best to:

    1. Release Puerto Rican parrots in the Rio Abajo Forest,
    2. Protect and manage the reintroduced population,
    3. Protect and create biological and physical conditions needed for the parrots while at the same time protecting the ecological integrity of the Rio Abajo Forest.

The Draft Environmental Assessment is available for public review online at: http://www.fws.gov/southeast/prparrot/ A copy of the Draft Environmental Assessment is available for review from Monday through Friday at the Rio Grande Field Office, Street Garcia de la Noceda, Suarez Building, Suite 1, Rio Grande, PR 00745. To schedule an appointment, please call Marisel Lopez at 787-887-8769 ext. 224. Send your written comments by September 27, 2006 to the following address: Marisel López-Flores, P.O. Box 1600, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico 00745 Marisel_lopez@fws.gov.


Environmental Assessment --
Reintroduction of the Puerto Rican Parrot --
(pdf)    (word)


For more information about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, visit our home page at http://www.fws.gov/southeast or http://www.fws.gov/.



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