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Saving the Population of Scarlet Macaws in the Amazon

Juan Diego

The first time I arrived at TRC was in January of 2014. In the boat was only the boat driver, a crew member, me, and all the food supplies for a whole week of the lodge. The day was beautiful, sunny with a lot of clouds moving throw the light-blue sunny sky. 

Amazon Rainforest river view. Photo by J.D. ShoobridgeAmazon Rainforest river view. Photo by J.D. Shoobridge

Was also my first time traveling to the Amazon of Tambopata - Peru, I’ve never seen a forest like this before. In the boat drive upstream to Tambopata Research Center, we cross throw 3 clay-licks.

On each, up to 100 macaws eating clay, making flashes in the sky of red, green, blue and yellow, screaming so loud that you couldn’t listen to someone talking next to you. Was incredible, I was feeling in paradise!!

Chuncho Macaw Claylick. Photo by Zolthan

Chuncho Macaw Claylick. Photo by Zolthan

Laid in my bed that night I remembered the last meeting I had with Eduardo Nycander - Founder of Rainforest Expeditions and of the Tambopata Macaw Project - where he told me the history of how he came for the first time to Tambopata and how he decided to the dream of saving the macaws population of the region. Immediately I thought “how someone couldn’t get in love with this wonderful place?”

Tambopata River View Photo by J.D. ShoobridgeTambopata River View Photo by J.D. Shoobridge 

Macaws are the most endangered large bird family in the world. Some of the threats are hunting, selective logging and the illegal pet trade. That’s why the Rainforest Expeditions starts here with the conservation of macaws. To accomplish this goal they designed and implemented artificial nests for macaws that hang down on three branches.

In 1999, the Tambopata Macaw Project led by Dr. Donald Brightsmith inherited from its founder Eduardo Nycander a group of 12 natural and artificial nests around the Tambopata Research Center. Since then the total number of nests has grown to over 30.

Since 1999, 985 eggs have been laid  and 516 chicks have hatched.

In a continuation of the dream of Rainforest Expeditions, Brightsmith’s team has developed, tested and scientifically documented new methods that can be used for conservation and management of macaws in Peru and the Americas.

Keep in touch with this incredible species throw our MacawCam. Meet Molinero, the closest nest to the Tambopata Research Center lodge entrance.


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