Conservation of threatened parrots of Margarita Island

In Margarita Island (Venezuela) live two of the most endangered parrots of the country. They are the endemic Margarita Blue-crowned Parakeet and the Yellow-shouldered Amazon. The situation of both species is delicate due to the progressive destruction of nesting and feeding habitat favoured by tourism development. The extraction of sand for construction and the poaching of chicks for the pet trade are the other major problems.

Yellow-shouldered Amazon (Amazona barbadensis)
Margarita Blue-crowned Parakeet (Aratinga acuticaudata neoxena)
Conservation status: Category VU (Vulnerable) in the Red List of the IUCN.
Wild population: 2.500, in gradual decline.
Captive population: Number unknown.

Objectives
Improve the situation of the wild population, reversing the decline of numbers of both species to ward off their vulnerability to extinction.

Strategies
Habitat restoration and the awareness of local communities in this sense, and the eradication where possible of poaching.

Actions
The nest monitoring system has been very successful, but still the problem of illegal hunting is not controlled. However, the key area of work has been awareness, which has ranged from the security forces responsible for enforcing environmental laws to the school, above all in an effort to instill from childhood the knowledge and the value given to their environment and natural resources.
This project has achieved that several poachers have now gone on to become nest guardians, and even participate in a kind of "partial hand-rearing", whereby they protect chicks at night to prevent them from being stolen for sale. A great resource for this has been the creation of the Chacaracual Conservation Area, near the community of Horcón, which provides advice on a grand initiative of sustainability and ecotourism.

Venezuela
Margarita Island

Local Partner
Provita

Other organizations involved
Ministry of Natural Rsources, Nacional Parks Institute (INPARQUES)

Funds since 2004: 434,779 $

Amazona barbadensis