Puerto Rican Parrot Naming Contest Results Announced
March 6, 2007
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today the results of the public naming contest for new Puerto Rican Parrot aviary. The new aviary will be named Aviario Iguaca.
1,950 votes were received by February 15 when the contest ended.
“We want to thank everyone who participated,” said Edwin Muñiz, Field Supervisor of the Caribbean Field Office for the Service. “With the support of the people of Puerto Rico, together we will continue to move closer to recovering this amazing bird.”
The preferred name, Iguaca, was the term used by the Taino Indians for the Puerto Rican Parrot. It won by a landslide receiving 50% of the votes (965). In second place was Aviario Borincano (300), followed by Aviario Rio Grande (259), Aviario Esperanza (251), and Aviario Esmeralda (157).
The grand opening for the public will be on April 28, 2007, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., when the aviary will be open for public viewing. An official dedication will be held in the morning of April 28, 2007, by invitation. The Service also plans to honor key organizations and individuals instrumental for En Vuelo, the Puerto Rican Parrot Recovery Program.
Among those is Mr. Antonio (Tony) Rodriguez-Vidal, who conducted the first comprehensive research of the Puerto Rican Parrot between 1953 and 1956. His contribution was instrumental to bringing needed attention to the plight of the parrot and to the beginning of the recovery effort. We will honor Mr. Rodriguez-Vidal’s contribution to conservation during the aviary dedication ceremony.
The Puerto Rican parrot is one of the world’s most endangered birds, with approximately 20 - 25 birds left in the wild. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s goal is to have self-sustaining populations of Puerto Rican parrots throughout Puerto Rico. The purpose of the new state-of-the-art aviary is to offer the best veterinary care to these animals and to breed healthy parrots to release into the wild.
Public funds and private donations paid for the construction for the new aviary. The U.S. Congress provided $1.7 million. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation raised an additional $700,000. Major donors include Herencia, Wal-Mart Corporation, and the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico. The new facility is an important investment in the future of Puerto Rico’s natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about the Puerto Rican parrot, please visit: http://www.fws.gov/southeast/prparrot/
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices, and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign and Native American tribal governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.
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