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Born Free USA Global Field Projects

Exploring the Possibilities in Nicaragua

Published 04/24/13

One cannot fully protect scarlet macaws without making it a regional effort among Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

One Earth Conservation is embarking on a project in Nicaragua in 2013 just south of the Honduran border that is the same bioregion — the Bosawás region of Nicaragua. The Bosawás Biosphere Reserve is a hilly tropical forest and encompasses about 15 percent of the nation’s total land area, which makes it the second-largest rainforest in the Western Hemisphere (after the Amazon in Brazil). Bosawás is largely unexplored, and is extremely rich in biodiversity.

An exploratory trip will take place this spring to seek community partners (again with indigenous people) who want to work with the macaws there. oyner is looking for funds to help the Nicaragua people and the Costa Ricans come on this eight-day trip. Once there they will form a working coalition and see what the next steps might be, with a strong possibility that the new project will be similar to the one in Honduras. It is unknown what is going on in Bosawás in terms of macaws and poaching, so it’s a vital area to explore and establish protections.

Currently there are no projects studying the status or threats to the macaws of Nicaragua (scarlet macaws and great green macaws). It is unknown how many macaws are there, and where they might be nesting and foraging. Preliminary meetings with both Hondurans and Nicaraguans indicate that they would like to work together as the macaws are found within the same bioregion, even though a national border divides it on a map. Biologists from Costa Rica also will become involved, making this a trinational project.

To receive the kind of funding this project requires to be sustainable, a survey of the area is needed so we can find community partners and macaw populations.

This project just barely has enough funds to cover the rental of a boat and truck, and Joyner’s travel expenses. With another $3,000, expenses could be met for in-country biologists, who are struggling to find sufficient funds so that can accompany this expedition.

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