Helping save the scarlet macaw
Join them in their new home in Chiapas
Hi, my name is Kin, I’m a scarlet macaw. I belong to a very special group of birds that are about to return to the wild with the help of many people and institutions like the UNAM Institute of Biology, Acajunga AC , the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Eco Park Aluxes and Xcaret Park. See below how we are adapting to our new life in Chiapas.
We arrived at our new temporary home in the eco-park Aluxes. We began by doing a series of activities that our coaches from Xcaret Park and specialists from other parts of the world call “soft release” in order to adapt and live together as a flock in liberty. To get used to our new environment, we had to go through several processes such as get used to a hotter and more humid temperature than our former home Xcaret. In addition, we had to go through 5 important processes.
1.- How to fly together as a flock
Kin: Our coaches have promoted our integration as a flock and we have had to learn how to work as a team. We have been trained to respond to a whistle and fly from one end to the other. This will help us detect predators, find wild food and shelter at night in the jungle.
It is a stifling climate and the adaptation process continues progressively since our arrival in December. The temperature was between 77 and 80.6 ° F. From mid-March to April, the temperature has risen to 104 degrees with 100% humidity. We were born and raised in a dry environment and for this reason we have been provided with shade and sprinklers that produce a fine mist that refreshes us every day.
Flying together will help us achieve the survival of the flock and of our species. Macaws are naive birds, so for training it has been necessary to promote our typical behavior . To do so, the coaches have designated three leaders of the flock that simulate the behavior of our parents.
2.- We begin to recognize wild food
Our coaches have taught us to recognize our own food which consists of apples, oranges, pre-prepared food and for two months, the food was placed on the branches of trees. Thanks to the color, taste and smell, we have learned to recognize the physical attributes of seeds and harvest them.
After our liberation, the cage will remain open with food platforms for us to go back and eat, gradually adapting.
3.-We are taught to recognize predators
To learn to recognize predators, we were trained to create alarming sounds and form a uniform group to continue vocalizing. Our coaches will introduce an eagle and a badger into the cages to assess our reaction to predators and animals.
4.-We will be up high and very vigilant
There will be human aversion experiments. Two people will dress up as hunters and make noises inside the cage to detonate human fear so we can learn to stay on the tops of the trees away from danger.
5.- Our coaches will follow us closely
We will also be monitored with markings on the beaks and rings on the legs with an alphanumeric code and Xcaret logo. The dominant macaws will wear radio-collars so that our coaches can track us from a remote distance and know our location.
Seven macaws from our flock of 27 will be in a controlled flight to serve as an anchor for the rest that will be part of the release and soon 30 more macaws will join our family.
Finally, on Sunday, April 21st our hosts will open the cage so we can fly free and adapt to our new environment. But we are not alone as the eco-park Aluxes is located near the National Park of Palenque, a natural reserve with more than 700,000 hectares that will be our new home.
How can you help us?
Your good intentions will help lead us home and protect us in this new environment. Help share our message on Twitter and Facebook. Wish us good on our new life with the hashtag #FlyingHome.