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Scarlet Macaws Soar Again in Native Honduras

La Guara Roja

Denis Malouin Copan Maya
Denis Malouin (left) of Rolf C. Hagen Inc. traveled to Copan, Honduras to present Lloyd Davidson, owner of the Macaw Mountain Bird Reserve, with food and funds on behalf of HARI.

Often targeted by poachers, the majestic Scarlet Macaws are beginning to soar again in their native homeland.

Known as La Guara Roja in Spanish, the beautiful Scarlet Macaw is the National Bird of Honduras. Yet despite this, they are regularly victimized by rampant poaching, particularly in the country’s remote villages, where macaws can fetch a high price in the illicit wildlife trade.

Most of the macaws remaining in the small Central American country are actually kept in the Copan Archeological Park, located in the Copan Valley in the western part of Honduras, near Guatemala. The endangered birds are sent there after being confiscated from smugglers at the border.

Recently, HARI donated food, supplements and funds to the Copan Maya Foundation of Honduras, which operates an outdoor aviary dedicated to harbouring and eventually releasing rescued birds back into their natural habitat.

In 2011, the Copan Maya Foundation launched an educational campaign directed mainly towards children in rural areas to change the cultural mindset and stop the cycle of poaching handed down through the generations.

At the end of the education program, children from all regions come together in an annual Bird Festival or Festival de Aves at the Macaw Mountain Bird Reserve to celebrate their new-found appreciation of their native parrot.

One of the highlights of the Foundation’s campaign is a ceremony called Parrots in Freedom, Beauty Returns, where Scarlets are set free and return to the Copan Valley.

To learn more visit Copan Maya Foundation’s efforts to save the Scarlet Macaw

Learn more about the origins and development of the Macaw Mountain Bird Park and National Reserve.