Assessing and protecting Scarlet Macaws at Volcano Cosigüina Nature Reserve

Habitat loss, hunting, and in particular illegal traffic have resulted in the local and regional extinction of the northern subspecies of Scarlet Macaw within its historical range. In Mexico, the Scarlet Macaw has disappeared from about 98% of its indigenous range;it is extinct in El Salvador and occurs in very low numbers in Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and Nicaragua. The population of Scarlet Macaws located at the Cosigüina Volcano Nature Reserve is one of the last known populations to exist in the western portion of Central America. Although this population is very small (between 20-50 individuals), several factors have created a good opportunity to save the population.

Now macao cyanoptera
Conservation status: Category LC (Least Concern) in the IUCN Red List, but cyanoptera is endangered
Wild population: 2,500 – 4,000, in decline.
Captive population: Not known.


To establish accurate baseline information about the population, focusing on demographics, nesting success, and habitat use in the Cosigüina Volcano Nature Reserve. To strengthen the ability of the Nicaraguan army to deter and stop poachers entering Cosigüina. To involve and empower the local community in efforts to protect nesting macaws. To increase awareness about this sub-species among Ministry of Environment officials and the Nicaraguan environmental community.


The strategic aim of this project is to protect and restore the population of Ara macao cyanoptera at the Cosigüina Volcano Nature Reserve.


The project will assess the A.m. cyanoptera population by establishing variable point counts within quadrants around the volcano. Each of these quadrants will be monitored using point counts and distance measurements. Additionally, nests will be monitored and mapped to indicating the areas of the reserve of highest priority for nesting and foraging habitat. Direct contacts with the Ministry of the Environment (MARENA) and Nicaraguan army officials who manage the Reserve to increase awareness and coordination. Creation of a poaching alert system for community members to report the entry of persons with apparent intent to extract wildlife. Educational and awareness workshops and materials (posters, t-shirts) to involve local community members, including children.


Local Partner
Paso Pacífico

Funding since 2016: 14,500$
Now macao cyanoptera

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