Flame-winged Parakeets Flock to New Nest Boxes
Economic Solution Helps Threatened Species
Little did ProAves Columbia’s parakeet Project staff know just how desperate the Flame-winged Parakeet would be for nesting sites until they began erecting nest boxes. The Loro Parque Fundación-sponsored project (www.loroparque.org) had been studying the species-endemic to Columbian Andean forest near the capital city of Bogotá-throughout 2005, when they suspected that a lack of mature trees and nesting cavities could be a limiting factor for the species’ population, that stands at just a few thousand individuals in an area where little natural forest survives. The Parakeet Project erected 20 nest boxes, beginning in mid-September 2005. When field workers revisited the boxes ten days later, they were astonished to find five boxes were already occupied by pairs of parakeets, some already having laid up to 13 eggs. This was obviously no coincidence, and clearly shows that simple and economical solutions can often be found to help threatened species’ populations.
Monitoring Chick Development
ProAves staff will continue to monitor and study the nest boxes and assess rearing success before expanding the nest box campaign. The Parakeet Project also works with the local community to promote awareness of the parakeet, which continues to be threatened by logging, and lacks adequate long-term protection. ProAves Columbia has partnered with American Bird Conservancy on several other rare bird projects and is a member of the Alliance for Zero Extinction.
By Paul Salaman, Director, International Programs, American Bird Conservancy
Photos by Fundación ProAves
About Fundación ProAves and Colombia
Fundación ProAves is Colombia’s bird conservation and research NGO, which supports conservation initiatives, manages nature reserves and national parks and raises awareness of bird conservation issues in Colombia and worldwide. Fundación ProAves currently successfully manages three pristine forest nature reserves in Colombia. ProAves has charitable status in Colombia and the UK and is keen to explore tax-efficient donation strategies with potential donors.
Colombian Neotropical Migratory Bird Monitoring and Conservation Program ProAves Foundation – Conservation International Colombia. For more photos and information on the project, its funding sources, and partners, visit American Bird Conservancy and Fundacion ProAves Columbia.