After 5 years of monitoring the Central Pacific Scarlet Macaw population researchers found that the population was declining alarmingly. In response to this, in October of 1994, a regional workshop was held with 25 participants including community leaders, businessmen, teachers, academics and park guards from the area. After identifying and ranking the major threats to the macaw population, 80% of the participants rated macaw poaching as the primary factor causing population decline. Other factors included loss of habitat and lack of awareness among the local communities of the macaw’s plight.
The participants worked to define the target, conceptual model, objectives and activities to conserve the scarlet macaw population.
As a result of this workshop a local conservation group, LAPPA (Association for the Protection of Psittacidaes), was formed to coordinate scarlet macaw conservation in the area. Focus included: a) stopping chick poaching, b) enhancing habitat for macaws, c) educating the population about the threatened macaw situation and d) ensuring that all stakeholders were working together. LAPPA used the knowledge gathered by researchers in the previous five years about the local human communities and the scarlet macaws’ natural history to manage both the habitat and the local human population.
Regional workshops were held in 1999 and 2004 to redefine priorities for scarlet macaw conservation in the area. In both workshops nestling poaching was still considered the most important threat for the population.
The conservation activities carried out by LAPPA include:
Protection of active nests - guards are employed to protect nests which are clustered in groups, so several nest can be protected at the same time.
Installation of Artificial Nest Boxes - From 1995 – 2004, nest boxes were placed in areas where protection was guaranteed. Several designs were used, but the most popular were found to be blue plastic barrels (See scientific studies).
Environmental education - Courses have been given in five local communities (Quebrada Ganado, Tárcoles, Bijagual, Playa Azul, and Capulín) in the last seven years with notable success (See Environmental Education).
Working with Stakeholders - in 1995, 1996 LAPPA members worked intensively with Carara National Park guards and a local judge. Raids were carried out at poachers’ houses to confiscate poached macaws and climbing materials. Protection was additionally coordinated in local tourist resorts. Coordination with MINAET, the governmental parks agency was once again initiated in 2004
Our goals are:
1) Increase the Central Pacific Scarlet Macaw population.
2) Improve the economic status of the local human communities so they support natural resource conservation.
3) Make the Central Pacific region an attractive tourist destination.