This year, as part of the celebration of its 25th anniversary, Loro Parque Foundation has managed to add to its list of species saved from extinction the Grey-Breasted Parakeet (Pyrrhura griseipectus), native to Brazil. With this success, The Foundation celebrates that it has already prevented the disappearance of 10 species of parrots thanks to its longstanding involvement with in and ex situ protection and conservation projects.
The Grey-Breasted Parakeet, originally from the Baturité Mountains, was an endangered species because of the illegal captures designated for the pet trade and the lack of suitable nesting sites. However, the alliance between the Loro Parque Foundation and the organisation AQUASIS has strengthened the work of renowned biologist Fabio Nunes and his team in the area, where they have managed to enumerate over 1,000 chicks born in artificial nests.
This incredible result has to do precisely with the placement of these artificial nests and their monitoring since 2010, despite the difficulties encountered during the process, such as protection against predators.
One of the ways of observing and understanding the habits of this species, little known in the past, has been an active presence in the field, which has allowed specialists to obtain a large amount of very important scientific information including for other projects of similar characteristics.
Furthermore, the tagging work has been fundamental, because it enables the gathering of data on the movement and distribution (through their banding) of the parakeets, which are able to hide very well amongst the vegetation. In addition, key in this process has been the creation of protected areas, which are recognised by the local population.
From now on, a new stage for the species begins, in which an ex situ program will work for its reintroduction back into some of its historical locations from which it has disappeared. In this respect, it is relevant that in the Loro Parque Foundation alone, more than 60 specimens have been born in recent years.
In total, since the Foundation began to collaborate with this project, it has allocated about US$400 000 to the protection of the Grey-Breasted Parakeet. Thus, the number of birds has risen from around 100 to 1,000 in 2019, changing the category of the species on the Red List of Threatened Species of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) from “critically endangered” to “endangered”.
As of today, the Foundation has dedicated more than US$21,000,000 to supporting conservation projects, and the reclassification of many of these ten species is a global conservation success that makes this non-profit organisation the most effective in preservation of tropical ecosystems achieved through the labour of protecting the parrots.