Scarlet Macaws Release

On July 6th, ARCAS released 13 scarlet macaws into the Sierra del Lacandon National Park in northwestern Peten. The release was a success, with all 13 macaws flying free into the surrounding forest. Six of the macaws were fitted with satellite collars and will be tracked to determine their success in adapting to their new life in the wild. This is the second macaw release that ARCAS has carried out in Sierra Lacandon; in October 2015 it released 9 macaws in the same area.

These releases are the results of over a decade of hard work. All the released macaws are offspring of the scarlet macaw captive breeding program at the ARCAS Rescue Center and the breeding birds are all confiscated macaws that cannot otherwise be released. The chicks in this program are raised by their parents and their exposure to humans is restricted, so they are less likely to seek out humans when they are released. They have also gone through very strict medical screening to ensure that they don’t introduce diseases into wild populations. It is estimated that there are less than 400 wild scarlet macaws left in the Maya Biosphere Reserve, one of the last viable populations in Mesoamerica. ARCAS is proud to contribute to the reinforcement of this depleted population of this charismatic symbol of the Mayan Forest.

Many thanks to our partners in this effort to save a species from extinction, including Defensores de la Naturaleza, the National Council of Protected Areas (CONAP) and Harvest Caye Conservation Foundation.

Please help us in this fight to save the scarlet macaw and other endangered species: Make a donation to ARCAS; Report wildlife traffickers to CONAP; and, never, never buy wild animals as pets!!!


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To learn more about what ARCAS does, check our Annual Reports on the publications page. If you want to volunteer please see the Volunteer Information section or email us at [email protected].

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