Scarlet Macaw Rescue
| Many things could be said about the
most beautiful bird of the Mesoamerican lowlands, the Scarlet Macaw... The Scarlet
Macaw (Ara macao) is about 30-36 inches in length. It used to live in the lowland
Mesoamerican jungle, the Chiapas region in Mexico, the western part of Guatemala, in the
Peten jungle, and the entire Caribbean and Pacific Coasts of Central America. It could
also be found in South Americas rainforests, such as in the Manu National Reserve in
Peru. Scarlet Macaws live in valleys -close to rivers and lagoons- where they can obtain
the minerals they need to eat in order to prevent intoxication from certain plants they
feed on. Both male and female of this species are similar in appearance: bright red
plumage, yellow upper wing coverts, blue rump and tail covers, whitish skin on their
faces, pale gray bills above and black below. They are a beautiful and extremely
To the Maya Civilization
Scarlet Macaws were Sacred. They represented the daylight and the rising Sun. They used to
hold ceremonies in their honor, like they did for their gods as well as for the Sacred
Quetzal and the Lord of Night, the stalker, the Jaguar. Many lords and rulers of Maya
cities took the name "Macaw" for themselves to magnify their personality and
reduced the habitats to just a few areas where Scarlet Macaws still survive. On top of it
all Scarlet Macaws are highly prized in the illegal pet trade, sometimes being sold for up
to $2500. Therefore, some people in certain communities adjacent to Scarlet Macaws
breeding and nesting sites have found poaching or "harvesting" their pigeons a
lucrative opportunity to help increase their economic opportunities.
Adventure Specialists is now supporting projects for the protection of Scarlet Macaws. We
work together with the communities we visit in conservation and economic alternatives for
people living in the areas where the last Scarlet Macaws live. Through ecotourism we hope
to be giving them the opportunity of receiving economic benefits and be addressing a big
part of the real problem... In any case, we are confident that through our activities with
these communities we are taking steps towards securing the survival of Scarlet Macaws...
||Ixcoche Lagoon, an important nesting site on
the Usumacinta River, is a natural stop for Scarlet Macaws in the Peten and the Lacandon
jungle. One of the most important communities in the area is called "Laureles".
The people from Laureles have been poaching the Macaws babies and taking them out of
the jungle, across the border (with Mexico), to sell. We are sharing the idea of taking
care of Macaws with them and they are open to the idea of receiving benefited from
ecotourism. Soon we would like to see them taking people through the jungle to see
the Scarlet Macaws in their natural habitat.
|Every time you or anybody else chooses to take
a trip through the Usumacinta River to see the Scarlet Macaws with us, you are
contributing to its conservation and the economical development of many people in the
area. Next time you are planning a birding trip, dont forget that the future of this
sacred bird is in your hands! Check our tours coming up soon!