Scarlet Macaw Slowly Making a Comeback to Mexico’s Wild
Along with beautiful beaches and crystal clear water are numerous other natural resources of the region. Local flora, fauna and animals add an extraordinary element to the Riviera Maya that truly makes it unique, not only from other tropical settings, but also from other parts of Mexico.
Dozens of organizations along the Riviera Maya do their best to protect and restore damage that has been caused by the booming tourism industry as well as illegal poaching. It is for this reason that Xcaret, a company best known for its eco-parks, continues to dedicate their resources to repopulating the country’s lost macaws.
Over the years, illegal capture of these wild birds has seen their numbers diminish almost to the point of extinction, prompting local organizations to protect and help reinstate their presence in the wild.
Last weekend, another 28 scarlet macaws were released from Xcaret’s Ejidal Benito Juarez Reserve into the Biosphere Reserve of Los Tuxtlas in Veracruz. The Parque Ecoarqueológico Xcaret (bird sanctuary) just outside Cancun has to date, successfully released a total of 95 scarlet macaws back into the wild.
This is an ongoing joint-project with the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP), through the Biosphere Reserve Los Tuxtlas, the Institute of Biology of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Xcaret Ecological Park, Defenders of Wildlife-Mexico, civil association Old Forest and the World Parrot Trus.
Since 2013, the wild population of these birds has increased from 297 to 640 in 2015. Once the birds are released, they are closely monitored with an identification chip and foot ring as well as blood sample. DNA from each bird is stored so in the event a poacher is caught, the bird can be identified under the country’s endangered species act.
The scarlet macaw is an integrated part of the local Maya heritage as well as part of the natural beauty of Mexico.