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Revista de Ciencias Ambientales

On-line version ISSN 2215-3896Print version ISSN 1409-2158


VAUGHAN, Christopher. Conservation of the Scarlet Macaw (Ara Macaw) with In Situ Management in the Central Pacific of Costa Rica. Ciencias Ambientales [online]. 2019, vol.53, n.2, pp.166-188. ISSN 2215-3896.

Beginning in 1990, the ecology of the scarlet macaw (Ara macao) in the Central Pacific, Costa Rica was studied. A preliminary count analysis between 1990-1994 showed a population rapidly decreasing, which could become extinct in several decades. Alarmed, this information was shared with 16 local residents and scientists in a workshop in scarlet macaw conservation at Punta Leona. We agreed to begin immediate in situ management to rescue the endangered population and created a local association (LAPPA) to coordinate the efforts. In situ management of habitat, scarlet macaw population and human communities began in 1995. It resulted in a significant recovery of the scarlet macaw population. I suggest this occurred because of: a) protection of habitat and chicks in nests, b) scarlet macaw environmental education in schools and towns, c) LAPPA coordinating many management projects, d) reforestation with trees used by scarlet macaws, e) artificial nest building and placement, and f) Punta Leona as the project godfather since 1994. This applied research and in situ management project has shown how to recover an endangered species population. However, future challenges which must be addressed include: a) climate change, b) research, management and monitoring with an expanding scarlet macaw population, and c) scarlet macaw reintroductions (ex situ management).

Keywords : artificial nests; applied ecology; environmental education; Punta Leona.

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