Cyanopsitta. Cyanopsitta. No September No September Wolfgang Kiessling

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2 Cyanopsitta is printed using environment friendly, recycled, woodfree coated paper: Symbol Freelife Satin, FEDRIGONI Cyanopsitta Cyanopsitta - Latin for blue parrot. The only member of this genus is Cyanopsitta spixii, the Spix s Macaw. It is a highly endangered species, symbol of Loro Parque Fundación, and of the need to conserve our planet. Message from the Founder 2 Annual Conferences of WAZA and CBSG 3 First transfer of our bachelor group 4 The keeping and breeding of the Chiriqui conure 6 Meeting Point 8 Loro Parque Hotline 9 Foundation News 10 The biggest and most diverse parrot collection in the World 12 IBAMA dissolves the Spix Macaw Recovery Comittee 18 The El Oro parakeet 20 Front Cover: Chiriqui Conure (Pyrrhura hoffmanni gaudens), Photo: Juan Angel de Corral Editorial Office: Loro Parque S.A Puerto de la Cruz Tenerife, Canary Islands Spain Tel.: Fax: Editorial Committee: Dr. Javier Almunia, Corinna Brauer, Inge Feier, Wolfgang Kiessling, Matthias Reinschmidt, Yves de Soye, Prof. David Waugh and Rafael Zamora. Visit our websites: Visit the website of Loro Parque Fundación, which provides you with detailed information on our programmes at: <http://www.loroparquefundacion.org>. For the website of Loro Parque, please check out <www.loroparque.com>. Membership: Become a member of Loro Parque Fundación to support us in our activities. You will then receive our trimestral newsletter Cyanopsitta, as well as a supporter s card permitting free entry to Loro Parque during the validity of your membership. The current annual membership fees are: Adults (non-resident):... 90,00 Adults (resident) & children (non-resident):... 45,00 Children (resident):... 22,50 Please send us your membership subscription by mail, fax or , or call us, and we will sign you up immediately. Bank Account: Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) Swift Code BBVA ESMM Message from the Founder During the past months our organisation has been focusing, with extraordinary expectation, on the organisation of the V International Parrot Congress, which we will host during the last days of September. As in the previous congresses, I have commited myself to ensure every detail in Loro Parque will meet the circumstances, and all the staff are working hard to make it true. This is why I am sure that we are going to give to the 800 participants an excellent impression of our organisation, and about our efforts to improve parrot management in captivity and their conservation status in the wild. The 2002 summer has produced other interesting events that we want to review in this issue of Cyanopsitta. On one hand our presence at the WAZA meeting hosted in Vienna, to which I attended personally with David Waugh, and that is fully reported on the next page. On the other hand, the announced transfer of our lowland gorilla Ivo, who was a member of the pioneering bachelor group established in Loro Parque, and who, since June the 15th, is now integrated into a family group in the Artis Zoo in Amsterdam. We are extraordinarily encouraged by this positive result of the bachelor group, which proves it is a powerful tool in the management of the captive gorilla population. Following the suggestions made by a broad group of members who responded to the questionnaire sent in the previous issue, we are going to increase the number of articles related to parrot breeding and to captive management in our newsletter, and also those related to veterinary questions. In this issue, we have decided to publish an up-to-date list of all the parrot species and subspecies in the collection of Loro Parque Fundacion, something traditional in the «old» issues of Cyanopsitta and that, from now on, you will find permanently up-to-date in our webpage. That is also the reason why we have published in this occasion an article about the breeding and keeping of the Chirique conure. About our conservation activities, this issue includes an article by Martin Schaefer of the first insights into the ecology and conservation of the El Oro parakeet, one of the latest projects that the foundation has begun to fund. Moreover, we include the latest news on the Spix s Macaw Conservation Project, which seems to face serious challenges to restart. With my best wishes, Wolfgang Kiessling 2

3 Loro Parque accepted as a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums Annual Conferences of WAZA and CBSG This year, from 13th to 17th August, the Annual Conference of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) was hosted by the Schönbrunn Zoo, Vienna to coincide with the 250th anniversary of what is now the oldest surviving zoo in the world. Loro Parque wished the Schönbrunn Zoo a very happy anniversary, and had an additional reason to celebrate, this being its acceptance as a member of WAZA. Our entry coincides with an important step in WAZA's history, whereby it now has a full-time secretariat and a much more proactive position as regards the conservation and education importance of progressive zoological parks. The theme of the conference was "holistic animal management ex situ - the road to conservation in situ", and Mr Wolfgang Kiessling presented Loro Parque to the delegates as new member with an already impressive record of successfully linking captive with wild. This message was reinforced with a presentation by David Waugh about the ex situ and in situ conservation activities of the Loro Parque Fundación. As a mark of WAZA s increasingly important role to promote zoos and conservation, the conference was addressed by two leading authorities in conservation, Claude Martin the Director General of WWF-International, and Achim Steiner the Director General of the World Conservation Union (IUCN). They delivered informative presentations about the state of the Earth and conservation priorities, with a recognition of the huge public awareness potential of good zoos, and a plea for these zoos to connect their visitors with the concept of sustainable living, and thereby encourage them to contribute to biodiversity conservation. David Waugh also represented Loro Parque and Fundación at the annual conference of the Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG) of the World Conservation Union (held 10th to 13th Sept.). This meeting tackled several important issues affecting the contribution of zoos to conservation, in particular how to be more effective in measuring conservation gains resulting from support and subsequent activities. 3

4 First transfer of our gorilla bachelor group Since 1992 Loro Parque has housed a bachelor group of western lowland gorillas (Gorilla g. gorilla). This grouping was designed to avoid conflicts, while mantaining the social behaviour of the animals. Ten years after the creation of this pioneering tool in gorilla captive population management, one of our males, Ivo, has been transfered to Artis Zoo, where he will lead a gorilla family group. Within the EEP programme, LP was the first European institution to start the stimulating and pioneering project to keep gorillas in a bachelor group. The main purpose of the project was to keep surplus males together so as to give them the possibility to socialize properly within a group and develop normal behaviour. Furthermore, the bachelor group can be used as a reserve of genetically less represented animals within the EEP programme and eventually be transferred to other zoos in case of need. All our gorillas arrived in Loro Parque when they were very young, apart from Schorsch who was already adult. The founders of the group, Ivo and Noel, both arrived from Munich in November 1992 when they were 4 and 6 years old. 22 years old Schorsch arrived from Nuremberg in October '94. In '95 the last three animals arrived, Maayabu and Rafiki from Stuttgart, and Pole-Pole from Munich. On arrival Maayabu was 7 years old, Pole-Pole 6 years old and Rafiki 4. The dominance aptitude of Ivo has been evident since his arrival in Loro Parque. In fact he took the leadership very early, when he was still a black-back, but he shared the leadership with Noel for a while and then they started challenging each other. When Loro Parque received advice from the gorilla EEP coordinator that a specimen from our bachelor group to be moved to another zoo, it was thought that Ivo was the most suitable animal for breeding proposes, for both his leading behaviour and his good attitude towards young individuals. Thus after testing Ivo for the most common infectious diseases, after running some noninvasive hormonal tests in order to evaluate his fertility, and after finally organizing the flight and all the documents, everything was ready for the shipment. Two people had to accompany him during the trip, Roman Alvarez the gorilla head keeper and Dr. Linda Timossi his veterinarian. This was decided for the well-being of the animal during the introduction process into a new environment and to the new group, and for security reasons during the journey 4

5 The shipment of Ivo to Artis Zoo was planned for Thursday, June 13th. Early in the morning we anesthetized Ivo in order to transfer him into the crate and afterwards the anesthesia was reversed to keep him awake during the journey. Although it was a very long trip, leaving Loro Parque at 7:30 am and arriving at Artis at 1:30 am the day after, everything was smooth and Ivo was calm in his crate. In any moment during the journey the keepers were able to have contact with him in order to check his status, to feed him or offer him water. As soon as Ivo arrived in Artis zoo, he was released from the crate, the keepers offered him some food and drink, and finally let him rest alone. In Artis zoo they have three female western lowland gorillas, Binti, Dafina and Shindi, and all the females were introduced to Ivo with the same stepby-step procedure. On Friday noon Ivo was introduced to the indoor exhibit, while the females were in the exhibit outside. In the afternoon we gave the possibility for the animals to have visual contact, calling the females into the resting area of the facility. The three females and Ivo showed interest between each other, and Binty was the one that showed most interest to this novelty. Saturday it was decided physically to introduce Ivo and the females. At the beginning Shindi and Dafina showed aggressive behaviour towards Ivo, while Binti tried immediately to have contact with him. Soon Shindi lost the support of Dafina. Ivo was surprised about this behaviour and escaped from attack, but little by little he was more sure of himself. It was decided to leave the animals together overnight, giving them the possibility to pass more time interacting, without the interference of the public and the keepers. The day after, the animals were much quieter and Ivo was more dominant, Binti continued trying have a deeper contact with him. On Monday Ivo was introduced successfully into the outside exhibit with no aggression shown from the females. A last note: Shindi and Dafina (both handreared), have already bred, but they abandoned their babies after some time. Binti (mother-reared), has not bred yet because she is too young, but being mother-reared she displays a normal behaviour and she is the female that most likely will breed and raise the baby successfully. The hope is that the other two females will learn how to take care of young gorillas observing Binti's behaviour with the baby. For this reason Dafina and Shindi will undergo a contraceptive treatment. 5

6 The keeping and breeding of the Chiriqui conure During the last few years, the Pyrrhura genus has become rather popular in captivity. Ten years ago, many of its species were considered as not very common and difficult to obtain; but today, quite a number of them can be found in parrot collections throughout the world. The Crimsonbellied conure (Pyrrhura perlata perlata), for example, which cost around Euros (pair) at that time, nowadays is sold for a few hundred Euros. The main reason for this devaluation is the fact that this species is very easy to breed. In the meantime, the number of Crimson-bellied conures in captivity has increased so much that, very soon, this beautiful parrot will also be found on the pet market. Indeed, the Crimson-bellied conure is a very good bird for any beginner because of their playful behaviour and their simple lifestyle. Given the necessary conditions such as adequate housing, feeding and keeping them in pairs, the holder will be able to enjoy the company of these birds throughout many years. In Germany, the Hoffmann's conure (Pyrrhura hoffmanni hoffmanni) has long since been an uncommon species, and even today it is not a typical aviary bird. Its primarily green plumage is interrupted by a contrasting red spot around the ear, which gives the parrot an attractive appearance. In Germany, the Chiriqui conure (Pyrrhura hoffmanni gaudens), a subspecies of the Hoffmann's conure, was not held in captivity until recently. In February 1997, Loro Parque managed to obtain three pairs of Chiriqui conures from a breeder in Florida; the birds are offspring from his own collection and of no direct parental kinship. The population of the parrot at that time was known to be relatively small. The subspecies differs from the nominal form in colour, since the plumage, especially of the head, is yellow rather than green. The shoulders, the under wing and the outer primary wing feathers are also yellow. The Chiriqui conure is approximately one centimetre bigger than the Hofmann's conure and weighs between 80 and 90 grams. The Chiriqui conure originates from Western Panama, in Central Chiriqui as well as in the bordering Bocas del Toro. It lives in partly forested areas, their extremes and also in areas with secondary vegetation in tropical and subtropical terrain between 500 and m above sea level. In his book Parrots, Robiller (1990) states that none of the two subspecies has been introduced to Europe. The first breeding worldwide of Pyrrhura hoffmanni gaudens took place in 1982 at Rowley in Arizona, when two chicks were successfully raised. The Chiriqui conures of the Foundation's collection are housed in suspended aviaries with a length of three metres and a height and width of one metre respectively. The aviaries are installed at a distance of around one to one and a half metres from the ground. 6

7 The interior of the aviaries is equipped with perches and two nest boxes each. The latter all have the same surface, measuring 22 cm x 22 cm, but are different in height, i.e., 45 cm and 65 cm respectively. One of the nest boxes is fixed at the front part of the aviaries. Clearly, the Pyrrhura species prefer the larger nest boxes, however there are animals which also use the smaller ones. To facilitate climbing inside the nest box, which is padded with sawdust, we fix a piece of wire mesh. The food is supplied from outside; this way, it is not necessary to open the aviary when exchanging the dishes. The latter are placed in a specially designed "window" through which the birds can easily access the food and water through openings in the wire. Thereby the dishes can neither be moved nor removed from the fixing points. Feeding takes place twice a day, between 8 and 9 am., and 2 and 3 pm.. The parrots also receive fresh water when exchanging the food dishes. In the morning, the birds are fed fruit and vegetables as well as green food depending on the season. This usually includes at least four or five different types of fruit, and a few added seeds. In the afternoon, the parrots are offered the usual seeds consisting of a commercial seed mixture for conures by Versele-Laga. When a pair is raising young, they get an additional food dish which contains the same types of food. They also receive fresh corn on the cob which is cultivated throughout the year on this island. The female lays an average of four to six eggs, which appear to be quite big in relation to the species' size: The measures of a clutch of six eggs laid in 2001 were 28,95 mm x 20,92 mm; 27,63 x 20,00 mm; 27,95 mm x 21,29 mm; 28,91 mm x 20,51 mm; 28,52 mm x 20,85 mm; 28,94 mm x 20,41 mm. Usually, the hen lays an egg every other day; however, since she starts brooding already as of the first, latest the second egg, the young hatch after 24 days maintaining the same rhythm, providing that every egg is fertile. Now and then, some eggs happen to be infertile. Chiriqui conures are known to be good parents hatching their offspring without any interferences. The hatching takes approximately 50 days until fledging; at that point, the chicks are hardly distinguishable from their parents in size. After another four weeks period in which the young learn to feed independently, they are gradually separated from their parents, since these, in most cases, are already brooding the second clutch. Before being transferred to an aviary of their own, the young are endoscopied by our vet team to determine their sex. The first Chiriqui conure bred in Loro Parque hatched in 1997, the same year the birds were obtained from the US ( Roger G. Sweeney reported on this breeding success in 'Gefiederte Welt' 8/98, p ). This was probably the first known breeding of the species in Europe, and thus the first one acknowledged as such. In the following year, all three pairs started breeding. Until summer 2001, they reproduced yearly, although with alternating success. Meanwhile, the birds of the second generation also produce offspring, which means that Loro Parque was able to breed a viable and sound population of this subspecies, contributing through the best possible management that this wonderful species persists in captivity. 7

8 MEETING POINT - MEETING POINT - MEETING POINT - MEETING POINT At the end of the scholastic year we received the visit of the new General Manager of Educational Promotion, Mrs Isabel de Luis Lorenzo, who accompanied a school group invited by the Educational Department of the Canary Island Government. The same week Loro Parque celebrated the visit of the school group number a group of Belorussian children (above) and a group of Saharan children (right) to visit its installations. Loro Parque is always trying to bring a smile to the face of children, especially those suffering sad situations. During the past months Loro Parque has invited Loro Parque invited 120 people from the San Roque neighbourhood (one of those that suffered the most in the flood of Santa Cruz de Tenerife in March) to spend a day in our installations. Some of them are still working to repair the damage to their homes and belongings, and this is the reason why this was a specially relaxing day for them. The famous spanish actress Carmen Sevilla visited us with her family, and posed with one of our cheerful mascots. As with every time they reach port in Tenerife, the crew of the Anastasias, one of the ships of the NGO Mercy Ships, take a break from their admirable activity in favour of the poorest people of the World. This organisation has spent 24 years sailing all over the World to compensate the differences between the rich and the poor countries. Hipólito Mejía, president of the Dominican Republic, who traveled to the Canary Islands on an official visit at the end of May, after his attendance at the European Union - Latin America and Caribbean Summit, could not resist the temptation to interrupt his official duties to visit Loro Parque. 8

9 LORO PARQUE HOTLINE - LORO PARQUE HOTLINE - LORO PARQUE HOTLINE Since June Loro Parque has offered a bus service during the weekends from Santa Cruz, the capital city of Tenerife, to its installations in Puerto de la Cruz. With this new public transportation route, Loro Parque wants to facilitate access to all visitors who do not want to use their private vehicles. The service offers four return trips each Saturday and Sunday. In July the Canary Islands Government Comission on land use planning approved the Adeje Municipality (in the south of Tenerife) urban plan in which the land adquired by Loro Parque qualifies for commercial and leisure activities. This urban qualification will permit the development of the future project of Loro Parque in the south of Tenerife island. It is planned to place the first stone of this project during the celebration of Loro Parque s 30th anniversary. The veterinarian in charge of Loro Parque s - mammals, Linda Timossi, has been elected to be a member of the EEP committee for the Humboldt penguin Spheniscus humboldti. Another baby sea lion, the seventh, was born on July the 13th, a female which weighed around 7.5 kg. The newborn, which has not yet received a name, spends the most part of the day sleeping or playing with water, despite that she do not swim, under the care of her mother, Tina. The baby has grown to almost 12 kg in the first month, but is not yet on exhibit. The Spanish TV music programme Musica Si shot eight episodes in Loro Parque, which will be broadcast during July, August and September. This TV programme has been on the air for five years, and it presents musical performances of international artists. The Cycling Club Niko Motobike is winning competitions all around the island, and their members are showing their dominance. After winning the first three positions in the Santa Cruz Cup, they are preparing for the Tenerife Tour which will be held in September. Loro Parque is offering a new kind of visit: the possibility to celebrate a birthday party in the wonderful setting of our park. To this end, a commercial product has been designed which includes a party and activities for all the participants. Herbert Hitsch, world champion of Apnea, submerged in the metacrilate cylinder of Planet Penguin. The Austrian sportsman came to Tenerife in an attempt to break the previous Apnea free immersion world record, unfortunately without success. As part of the collaborative activities with the Spanish organisation for National Airports and Air Trafic Control (AENA), Loro Parque sponsored the first Golf tournament, which was celebrated in Golf del Sur course in Tenerife. Within the next months, Loro Parque will amplify its tourism offer with a new exhibit. The new installation is being prepared very carefully to meet the quality and animal welfare requirements of Loro Parque. Its contents, which will not be divulged until its inauguration, will also be an innovation. It will represent a step foward in the philosophy of animal exhibits, showing the animals in an environment as naturalistic as it possibly can be. Because of the preparations for this new exhibit, our bird keeper Matthias Reinschmidt and veterinarian Marcellus Bürkle, travelled to Iceland, to carry some of the new animals for Loro Parque. In the next issues we will give you more details of the characteristics and contents of the newest exhibit of Loro Parque. 9

10 FOUNDATION NEWS - FOUNDATION NEWS Recently we received a communication from the Dutch parrot journal Pakara, which informed us of the decision of the Pakara Comittee to continue funding LPF projects. To this end, they will make a donation of 500 to be used in the feather plucking project. Jaap Reijmerin, member of the Pakara Comittee, will attend the V International Parrot Congress in September, and will take the opportunity to hand a symbolic 500 cheque to the Foundation. We profoundly thank this collaboration from Pakara, which will benefit the entire parrot population, helping to better understand a problem of maximum concern, as indeed is feather plucking. The transfer of the Spix s Macaws (which was announced in the previous issue of Cyanopsitta) has suffered some delay due to the impossibility of any representative of IBAMA to pick up the individuals from Tenerife. The latest news suggests that Iolita Bampi will take advantage of her presence in the V International Parrot Congress to carry to Brazil herself the male carcass and the unpaired female. The transfer is planned for the 23th of September. The best captive parrot news in July was, definitely, the first captive breeding worldwide of the Tuipara Parakeet. A pair of Brotogeris chrysopterus tuipara, a subspecies of the Golden-winged Parakeet (Brotogeris chrysopterus), which is very rare in captivity, was raising one chick at Loro Parque. This parakeet differs from the nominate subspecies with regard to the colour of the plumage which is a lighter green, as well as its size, exceeding the nominate subspecies by approximately two centimetres; moreover, its front is of orange colour as well as the stain on the chin. In order to stimulate the pair and make them reproduce, we have provided them with additional food items, i.e., feeding them fresh flowers every day such as hibiscus. These are very much enjoyed by the parakeets, which open them immediately to consume the fresh nectar. On the 28th May, the pair eventually laid their first egg, followed by two others shortly afterwards. Unfortunately, only one of the eggs laid was fertile, although the chick which hatched is being perfectly looked after by the parents. After one and a half weeks, the young was ringed, and we trust that it will continue to develop successfully until it reaches the stage of independence. Since there are no descriptions in the literature about prior successful breedings of this subspecies, we suppose that this hatching represents the first one worldwide in captivity. In July, two young Gang-gang cockatoos (Callocephalon fimbriatum) were being hand-reared at our baby station, and another two were being raised by their parents at the Loro Parque breeding centre of La Vera. Another pair had laid the first egg of their second clutch and thus were full-time breeders, so we are expecting this year to be rather successful in the breeding of this species. Simultaneously, the breeding season had gradually set in for our Blue-throated macaws (Ara glaucogularis), with five pairs having produced clutches or already raising young. A new pair has so far not demonstrated reproductive behaviour. Meanwhile, we have finally succeeded with the breeding of our Greater Alpine Lorikeets (Oreopsittacus arfaki major). These animals are given very special care at our installations and receive all the necessary specialities every day. After the first successful clutch of two chicks, the first pair to reproduce has laid another clutch which resulted in another two young, and a second pair has also started breeding and is currently raising offspring. Apart from that, we are very happy about the reproductive success of our Double-eyed Fig Parrots (Opopsitta diophthalma), which have raised two chicks, after the first offspring which hatched earlier this year regrettably did not survive. The fledglings are already independent and accompany their parents throughout the aviary. Even in July, we were able to record a large 10

11 FOUNDATION NEWS - FOUNDATION NEWS number of offspring. Compared to last year, where the majority of chicks was ringed in May, the hatching and ringing of young is happening rather late this year. In 2002, the strongest' month was June with a total of 192 ringed chicks, although in July this record was nearly equalled with 191 altogether; normally, we would have expected the numbers to drop again, as has happened in former years. We attribute this delay to the weather conditions, which were responsible for many species to set-in their reproductive activity later in the year. In the meantime, 988 chicks have been ringed, which corresponds to an increase of approximately 17 % compared to last year. Furthermore, we have enlarged our collection with two new pairs of Josephine's lorikeets (Charmosyna josefinae). These birds, whose natural distribution lies in Papua New Guinea, were obtained from a German breeder. Thus, the number of species and subspecies held at Loro Parque has increased to 338. We have also been able to integrate a pair of Triton cockatoos (Cacatua g. triton) from a private holder, who donated his birds to the Foundation, as well as two female Roberts's parakeets (Bolborhynchus aurifrons robertsi), which were kindly donated by Mr. Hodel, a Swiss breeder. A very special breeding result in August was the first breeding of the Morotai Chattering lory (Lorius garrulus morotaianus) at Loro Parque. In our installations, we house all three subspecies of the Chattering lory (Lorius garrulus). The Morotai Chattering lory differs from the other subspecies, because its back is red instead of yellow. At the beginning the two individuals which we hold in our breeding centre just did not want to come together; the male was extremely dominant, and every time we tried to put the two together it would chase the female. Therefore, we had to remove the latter to avoid it from suffering any damage. Finally, we gave it a last try - it occurred to us that maybe by transferring the two into the large flocking aviary of the Palm cockatoos (Probosciger aterrimus), they might possibly form a pair under the pressure of the big cockatoos. And this is what happened. Within less than a month, the pair had produced two fertile eggs, which we removed to make sure that they hatched successfully, because we did not know how reliable the pair was. Currently, the two chicks are being hand-reared at our baby station and are doing well. Shortly after, the female laid another clutch, which again produced two young. Only this time, they are being raised satisfactorily by their parents. Since there is no information given in literature about the breeding of this subspecies in captivity, we suppose that the breeding of four chicks of the Morotai Chattering lory is the first breeding ever worldwide. At present, our Thick-billed parrots (Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha) have also started breeding and have already produced at least two fertile eggs. Since the pair notoriously destroys the eggs, we have moved them from the cavity to the hand-rearing station. After having already obtained offspring from our first, settled pair of Blue-headed macaws (Ara couloni), one of our own breeding pairs which had been formed at Loro Parque has started breeding and produced its first egg. Another species which is successfully raising young this season is the Red-fronted macaw (Ara rubrogenys), with six young ringed so far. However, neither of our two pairs of Andean parakeets (Bolborynchus orbygnesius), which, for the first time, had raised young last year in May, had manifested any signs of reproductive behaviour. Only recently have we observed that both pairs entered the nest box, and finally produced eggs. Again, we think that this behaviour is due to the weather situation, which has delayed the beginning of the breeding activities at least a few months. 11

12 The biggest and most diverse parrot collection in the World The parrot collection housed in Loro Parque in Tenerife represents the biggest and most diverse worldwide, with altogether 340 different parrot species and subspecies and individuals. This collection was donated by Loro Parque to the Foundation. Naturally, the management of such a huge collection is a daily challenge. In Loro Parque, at least one pair of almost every species is exhibited. The major part of the collection, however, is accommodated in the "La Vera" breeding centre at a distance of approximately three kilometres from the park. It has a surface area of approximately 4 hectares. This breeding station is a non-public establishment and favours the productivity of the parrots through its calm situation and best possible housing of the birds in large aviaries. Loro Parque Fundación is an organization which funds, supports and carries out a large number of breeding, research and field projects to help protect endangered parrot species in the wild. Each year, over chicks are reared in the collection. Those which belong to endangered species are used for breeding programmes to build up a breeding stock; and to this end, they are also transferred to other zoos, bird parks and breeders. On top of this, a surplus stock of parrots is produced suitable for sale. It is important to consider that all the benefits obtained from the sale of captive parrots are used to fund the Foundation's field projects. Therefore, each holder or breeder who buys a parrot from Loro Parque can be sure that he is making a contribution to conservation. Why do we keep parrots? How many pairs of one species are there? What happens to the chicks? Are they hand-reared? Or are they raised by their parents? The answer to this and other questions will be found in a management plan which is being established for the whole collection. Here at Loro Parque Fundación, we have a unique genetic reserve for many endangered and less endangered parrot species. And it is imperative that we conserve and protect them as a natural heritage for future generations. This is the principal guideline which determines all of our actions. This means in particular that we have to consider each parrot species and subspecies as a separate case with different needs. It has to be guaranteed that no signs of degeneration occur as a consequence of inbreeding. To this end, as well as exchanges of birds with other institutions, we try to keep a minimum of three breeding pairs of a species to make sure that new breeding pairs which are not related may be created. In some species, it is very difficult to obtain three unrelated pairs in the first place, being extremely uncommonly held species in captivity such as the St Vincent amazon (Amazona guildingii) or the Spix's macaw (Cyanopsitta spixii). An important aspect of the management of the parrot collection are the European breeding programmes (EEP) and studbooks (European - ESB; International - ISB). Loro Parque is EEP coordinator for two species, i.e., the Blue-throated macaw (Ara glaucogularis) (and ISB coordinator) and the Redbrowed amazon (Amazona rhodocorytha), as well as studbook coordinator for the ESBs of the Redspectacled amazon (Amazona pretrei), the Red and blue lory (Eos histrio) and the Mount Apo lory (Trichoglossus johnstoniae). It also contributes to studbooks which are coordinated by other institutions. In the case of these animals, it is important to have more individuals to help secure the genetic viability of the worldwide population, because one day it might be necessary to fall back on the captive population if a release programme is needed to save an endangered species in its natural habitat. Loro Parque Fundación has a deep interest in exchanging information and experience with other institutions and breeders to increase our knowledge on parrots. We have, indeed, attained many important things during the last few years; however, we should not content ourselves with what we have already accomplished, but rather pursue the development and improvement of the keeping of parrots in captivity. As follows, you will find our current parrot stock list updated on the 1st October 2002: 1. Agapornis canus 2. Agapornis fischeri 3. Agapornis lilianae 4. Agapornis nigrigenis 12

13 5. Agapornis personata 6. Agapornis pullaria 7. Agapornis roseicollis 8. Agapornis taranta 9. Alisterus a. dorsalis 10. Alisterus a. amboinensis 11. Alisterus a. buruensis 12. Alisterus a. hypophonius 13. Alisterus c. moszkowskii 14. Alisterus s. scapularis 15. Amazona a. aestiva 16. Amazona a. xanthopteryx 17. Amazona agilis 18. Amazona a. albifrons 19. Amazona a. nana 20. Amazona amazonica 21. Amazona arausiaca 22. Amazona a. autumnalis 23. Amazona a. diadema 24. Amazona a. lilacina 25. Amazona a. salvini 26. Amazona barbadensis 27. Amazona brasiliensis 28. Amazona collaria 29. Amazona dufresniana 30. Amazona rhodocorytha 31. Amazona f. farinosa 32. Amazona f. guatemalae 33. Amazona f. virenticeps 34. Amazona f. bodini 35. Amazona f. festiva 36. Amazona finschi 37. Amazona guildingii 38. Amazona m. mercenaria 39. Amazone mercenaria canipalliata 40. Amazona l. leucocephala 41. Amazona l. caymanensis 42. Amazona o. auropalliata 43. Amazona o. nattereri 44. Amazona o. ochrocephala 45. Amazona o. oratrix 46. Amazona o. caribae 47. Amazona o. panamensis 48. Amazona o. parvipes 49. Amazona o. tresmariae 50. Amazona o. xantholaema 51. Amazona pretrei 52. Amazona tucumana 53. Amazona ventralis 54. Amazona vinacea 55. Amazona viridigenalis 56. Amazona xantholora 57. Amazona xanthops 58. Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus 59. Aprosmictus erythropterus 60. Aprosmictus jonquillaceus 61. Ara ambigua 62. Ara ararauna 63. Ara auricollis 64. Ara chloroptera 65. Ara couloni 66. Ara glaucogularis 67. Ara macao 68. Ara manilata 69. Ara maracana 70. Ara m. militaris 71. Ara n. cumanensis 72. Ara n. nobilis 73. Ara rubrogenys 13

14 74. Ara severa 75. Aratinga a. acuticaudata 76. Aratinga a. haemorhous 77. Aratinga aurea 78. Aratinga auricapilla 79. Aratinga cactorum 80. Aratinga c. canicularis 81. Aratinga c. eburnirostrum 82. Aratinga c. clarae 83. Aratinga chloroptera 84. Aratinga erythrogenys 85. Aratinga euops 86. Aratinga finschi 87. Aratinga jandaya 88. Aratinga holochlora 89. Aratinga rubritorquis 90. Aratinga solstitialis 91. Aratinga leucophthalmus 92. Aratinga mitrata 93. Aratinga n. astec 94. Aratinga n. nana 95. Aratinga p. pertinax 96. Aratinga p. surinama 107. Bolborhynchus orbygnesius 108. Brotogeris c. beniensis 109. Brotogeris c. cyanoptera 110. Brotogeris c. chrysopterus 111. Brotogeris c. tuipara 112. Brotogeris jugularis 113. Brotogeris v. versicolurus 114. Brotogeris v. chiriri 115. Brotogeris pyrrhopterus 116. Brotogeris tirica 117. Brotogeris sanctithomae 97. Aratinga w. frontata 98. Aratinga weddellii 99. Barnardius b. barnardi 100. Barnardius b. macgillivrayi 101. Barnardius z. semitorquatus 102. Barnardius z. zonarius 103. Bolborhynchus aymara 104. Bolborhynchus lineola 105. Bolborhynchus a. aurifrons 106. Bolborhynchus a. robertsi 118. Cacatua alba 119. Cacatua ducorpsii 120. Cacatua g. eleonora 121. Cacatua g. galerita 122. Cacatua g. triton 123. Cacatua goffini 124. Cacatua haematuropygia 125. Cacatua leadbeateri 126. Cacatua moluccensis 127. Cacatua ophthalmica 128. Cacatua pastinator 129. Cacatua s. abotti Parrot Field Conservation 130. Cacatua s. sulphurea Projects 131. Cacatua s. sanguinea 132. Cacatua s. citrinocristata 133. Cacatua tenuirostris 134. Callocephalon fimbriatum 135. Calyptorhynchus f. baudini 136. Calyptorhynchus f. funereus 137. Calyptorhynchus magnificus 14

15 138. Chalcopsitta a. atra 139. Chalcopsitta a. bernsteini 140. Chalcopsitta a. insignis 141. Chalcopsitta cardinalis 142. Chalcopsitta duivenbodei 143. Chalcopsitta scintillata 144. Charmosyna josephinae 145. Charmosyna multistriata 146. Charmosyna p. goliathina 147. Charmosyna p. placentis 148. Charmosyna p. subplacens 149. Charmosyna pulchella 150. Charmosyna rubronotata 151. Coracopsis nigra 168. Eclectus r. cornelia 169. Enicognathus ferrugineus 170. Enicognathus leptorhynchus 171. Eolophus roseicapilla 172. Eos b. cyanonothus 173. Eos bornea 174. Eos cyanogenia 175. Eos histrio 176. Eos reticulata 177. Eos semilarvata 178. Eos s. squamata 179. Eos s. obiensis 180. Eos s. riciniata 181. Eos s. atrocaerulea 182. Eunymphicus c. cornutus 183. Forpus coelestis 184. Forpus conspicillatus 185. Forpus cyanopygius 186. Forpus passerinus 187. Forpus p.deliciosus 188. Forpus p. viridissimus 189. Forpus spengeli 190. Forpus xanthops 191. Forpus x. flavissimus 192. Forpus x. xanthopterygius 193. Glosopsitta concinna 194. Graydidascalus brachyurus 195. Guarouba guarouba 196. Lathamus discolor 197. Loriculus galgulus 198. Loriculus philippensis 199. Loriculus stigmatus 200. Loriculus vernalis 201. Lorius chlorocercus 202. Lorius domicellus 203. Lorius garrulus 152. Coracopsis v. vasa 153. Coracopsis v. drouhardi 154. Cyanoliseus p. patagonus 155. Cyanoliseus p. andinus 156. Cyanoliseus p. bloxami 157. Cyanopsitta spixii 158. Cyanoramphus auriceps 159. Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae 160. Deroptyus a. accipitrinus 161. Deroptyus a. fuscifrons 162. Eclectus r. aruensis 163. Eclectus r. polychloros 164. Eclectus r. roratus 165. Eclectus r. solomonensis 166. Eclectus r. vosmaeri 167. Eclectus r. riedeli 204. Lorius g. flaviopalliatus 15

16 205. Lorius g. morataianus 206. Lorius lory 207. Lorius l. salvadori 208. Lorius l. erythrothorax 209. Melopsittacus undulatus 210. Myiopsitta monachus 211. Nandayus nenday 212. Neophema crhysostoma 213. Neophema bourki 214. Neophema elegans 215. Neophema pulchella 216. Neophema splendida 217. Neopsittacus musschenbroekii 218. Neopsittacus pullicauda 219. Nestor notabilis 220. Nymphicus hollandicus 221. Opopsitta diophthalma 222. Opopsitta gulielmiterti 223. Opopsitta g. amabilis 224. Oreopsittacus arfaki major 225. Pionites l. leucogaster 226. Pionites l. xanthomeria 227. Pionites melanocephala 228. Pionopsitta pileata 229. Pionus chalcopterus 230. Pionus fuscus 231. Pionus maximiliani 232. Pionus menstruus 233. Pionus s. corallinus 234. Pionus senilis 235. Pionus seniloides 236. Pionus tumultuosus 237. Platycercus a. adscitus 238. Platycercus a. palliceps 239. Platycercus a. adelaidae 240. Platycercus a. subadelaide 241. Platycercus caledonicus 242. Platycercus elegans 243. Platycercus eximius 244. Platycercus flaveolus 245. Platycercus icterotis 246. Platycercus venustus 247. Poicephalus cryptoxanthus 248. Poicephalus g. gulielmi 249. Poicephalus g. fantiensis 250. Poicephalus g. massaicus 251. Poicephalus meyeri 252. Poicephalus r. fuscicollis 253. Poicephalus rueppellii 254. Poicephalus rufiventris 255. Poicephalus senegalus 256. Poicephalus s. mesotypus 257. Polytelis alexandrae 258. Polytelis anthopeplus 259. Polytelis swainsonii 260. Prioniturus mada 261. Probosciger a. aterrimus 262. Probosciger a. goliath 263. Prosopeia t. tabuensis 264. Prosopeia splendens 265. Psephotus c. chrysopterygius 266. Psephotus c dissimilis 267. Psephotus h. haematogaster 268. Psephotus h. haematorrhous 269. Psephotus haematonotus 270. Psephotus varius 271. Pseudeos fuscata 272. Psittacula a. abotti 273. Psittacula a. alexandri 274. Psittacula calthorpae 275. Psittacula columboides 276. Psittacula cyanocephala 277. Psittacula derbyana 16

17 278. Psittacula e. siamensis 279. Psittacula eupatria 280. Psittacula h. finschii 281. Psittacula himalayana 282. Psittacula k. krameri 283. Psittacula k. manillensis 311. Pyrrhura p. roseifrons 312. Pyrrhura rhodocephala 313. Pyrrhura r. rupicola 314. Pyrrhura r. sandiae 315. Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha 316. Tanygnathus lucionensis 317. Tanygnathus megalorhynchus 318. Tanygnathus sumatranus 319. Trichoglossus chlorolepidotus 320. Trichoglossus euteles 321. Trichoglossus f. flavoviridis 322. Trichoglossus f. meyeri 323. Trichoglossus goldiei 324. Trichoglossus h. capistratus 325. Trichoglossus h. ceruliceps 326. Trichoglossus h. djampeanus 327. Trichoglossus h. forsteni 328. Trichoglossus h. haematodus 284. Psittacula longicauda 285. Psittacula roseata 286. Psittaculirostris desmarestii 287. Psittaculirostris edwardsii 288. Psittaculirostris salvadori 289. Psittacus e. erithacus 290. Psittacus e. timneh 291. Psittinus cyanurus 292. Psittrichas fulgidus 293. Purpureicephalus spurius 294. Pyrrhura cruentata 295. Pyrrhura egregia 296. Pyrrhura frontalis 297. Pyrrhura hoffmanni gaudens 298. Pyrrhura l. leucotis 299. Pyrrhura l. emma 300. Pyrrhura l. griseipectus 301. Pyrrhura m. melanura 302. Pyrrhura m. pacifica 303. Pyrrhura m. souancei 304. Pyrrhura m. molinae 305. Pyrrhura m. restricta 306. Pyrrhura m. hypoxantha 307. Pyrrhura p. coerulescens 308. Pyrrhura p. lepida 309. Pyrrhura p. perlata 310. Pyrrhura p. picta 329. Trichoglossus h. massena 330. Trichoglossus h. mitchelli 331. Trichoglossus h. moluccanus 332. Trichoglossus h. rosenbergii 333. Trichoglossus h. rubritorquis 334. Trichoglossus h. stresemanni 335. Trichoglossus h. weberi 336. Trichoglossus iris 337. Trichoglossus j. johnstoniae 338. Trichoglossus ornatus 339. Triclaria malachitacea 340. Vini australis Loro Parque Fundación always wishes to improve the balance of its collection. Therefore, we would kindly ask all parrot breeders who hold species and subspecies whose scientific names are not listed on the above mentioned stock list to contact us. 17

18 IBAMA DISSOLVES THE SPIX'S MACAW RECOVERY COMMITTEE In July 2002, the Brazilian government's environmental agency IBAMA finally disbanded the Spix's Macaw Recovery Committee (CPRAA), created twelve years earlier to bring together a wide range of parties in a unique effort to save the Spix's macaw from extinction. This is the distressing but logical result of the developments over the past two years which first led IBAMA to suspend the CPRAA in February 2001 and have now led to this drastic decision. In the March 2001 issue of Cyanopsitta, the LPF had informed its members and friends that an extraordinary meeting held in Brasilia one month earlier had led to the suspension of the CPRAA, due to the conflict between IBAMA and those holders - Antonio de Dios and Roland Messer - that proposed to become independent from the Committee. The previous transfer of birds from the Philippines to Qatar, unauthorised by the CPRAA and the very reason for the extraordinary meeting, had already provided sufficient evidence for the change of policy by these holders. IBAMA at the meeting decided that it would produce a new structure for the CPRAA in an effort to reinstall a viable and effective programme. The developments since this meeting in Brasilia can be summarised as follows: First, several parties - including the two principal private owners of Spix's macaws Antonio de Dios and Roland Messer, as well as Natasha Schischakin, Richard Porter (a U.S. aviculturist) and a representative of the Swiss CITES management authority met in Switzerland to discuss the formation of an independent programme, without involving the Brazilian government. Shortly after, the CITES Secretariat upon request from IBAMA issued a notification to all the signatory parties that invites the national management authorities to consult the Brazilian CITES Management Authority before issueing any "permits or certificates for the import, export, or re-export of specimens of Spix's Macaws". Towards the end of 2001, Natasha Schischakin who had faced severe pressure by IBAMA for her performance as keeper of the International Spix's macaw Studbook, was relieved of her conservation responsibilities at the Houston Zoo and then left her employment in early In January 2002, the LPF received IBAMA's proposal for the restructuring of the CPRAA. The new structure was based on two documents that requested of all future members the return of the ownership of birds to Brazil, or at least the full compliance with management decisions taken by a renewed CPRAA; these documents included explicit conditions to not sell, and to not transfer Spix's macaws without consultation of the CPRAA. In March 2002, Natasha Schischakin was The Advisory Board of Loro Parque Fundacion Povl Jorgensen Aviculturist Haslev, Denmark Nigel J. Collar Birdlife International Leventis Fellow in Conservation Biology Cambridge University, England Jørgen B. Thomsen Senior Vice-President Conservation International Washington DC, USA Wolfgang Grummt Animal Park Friedrichsfelde Berlin, Germany Tomás de Azcárate y Bang Ministry of the Environment of the Canary Islands Tenerife, Spain Ian R. Swingland Founder Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology Kent, England Susan L. Clubb Avian Veterinarian Florida, USA Roland Wirth President Zoological Society for the Protection of Species and Populations Munich, Germany 18

19 eventually replaced as studbook holder by both IBAMA and the Coordinator of International Studbooks, Peter Olney at the Zoological Society of London. The new Studbook holders appointed by IBAMA are two leading Brazilian ornithologists working closely with IBAMA, Carlos Bianchi and Wanderlei de Morais. It is worth emphasising that the Brazilian government, to the present day, has not received the information the former studbook holder was requested to submit for the handover of responsibilities, which implies that valuable information about the global captive population may become lost. It was such lack of compliance that led IBAMA to replace Natasha Schischakin, and state that it had faced "innumerous problems regarding [her] performance as studbook keeper, specially the lack of response to our information requests and the lack of accuracy and transparency of [her] attitudes". Her former involvement in the CPRAA for this and other reasons becomes an ever-increasing liability to the possible future of the recovery programme. In this context, respected Brazilian ornithologist Pedro Scherer Neto and the former coordinator of the Spix's macaw field programme, Yara de Melo Barros, decided to leave the Board of Directors of the recently created Ara Brasil Institute, intended to become a macaw conservation foundation supported by the American Federation of Aviculture, leaving only Mrs Schischakin as President. In July 2002, in view of a lack of positive responses by the two main private holders Antonio de Dios and Roland Messer to its restructuring proposal, IBAMA decided to finally disband the CPRAA and revoked the original decree that created the CPRAA in The Brazilian government thus assumed full control over the future recovery of the Spix's macaw. By that time, the field programme based in the community of Curaça in Bahia, had vacated the field station in the area where the last wild bird had lived and discontinued its activities. Outside of Brazil, the Loro Parque Fundación is the only member institution of the former CPRAA that returned ownership of its birds and that continues to work together with the Brazilian government. The LPF thus awaits the visit by IBAMA's General Fauna Coordinator Dr Iolita Bampi to pick up one of the two females it keeps, and the carcass of the male that died in 2000, for them to be also physically returned to Brazil. From the end of August, the live female to be shipped is therefore undergoing quarantine and prophylactic treatment at LPF. In spite of all the difficulties the recovery programme is currently facing, the LPF looks forward to the visit of Dr Bampi and to her participation at the 5th International Parrot Convention, to discuss any strategies that could provide a solution to the current impasse. We will keep our readers informed. Current Parrot Field Conservation Projects of Loro Parque Fundación * Brazil: Spix's Macaw Cyanopsitta spixii Recovery Programme * Brazil: Environmental Education Programme for the Red-tailed Amazon Amazona brasiliensis in Superagüi National Park, Paraná * Bolivia: Blue-throated Macaw Ara glaucogularis Conservation * Ecuador: Conservation of the El Oro Parakeet Pyrrhura orcesi * Colombia: Conservation of the Yellow-eared Parrot Ognorhynchus icterotis * Dominica: Conservation of the endemic Red-necked and Imperial amazons * St Vincent & the Grenadines: Conservation of the St Vincent Parrot Amazona guildingii * Thailand: Protection of Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary * Philippines: Education and wildlife breeding centres on Negros and Panay islands * Philippines: Red-vented Cockatoo Cacatua haematuropygia Conservation Programme * Indonesia: The nesting ecology of Yellow-crested Cockatoo Cacatua sulphurea on Sumba * Indonesia: Conservation of Endemic Parrots on the Tanimbar Islands 19

20 First insights in the ecology and implementation of conservation actions The El Oro Parakeet Buenaventura reserve and surrounding pastures in which can be appreciated the high fragmentation of the forest. Under its recently created Small-scale Grant scheme, the LPF has been supporting with US$ 10,000 the research and conservation work of Dr Martin Schaefer and Veronika Schmidt, who closely collaborate with the Ecuadorian NGO Fundación Jocotoco. The following report summarises the results of the first six months of the project. The El Oro Parakeet (Pyrrhura orcesi) is one of the 62 globally threatened bird species in Ecuador. Described only in 1988, the parrot is still poorly known. A steady decline of its population size over the past decade seemed to have occurred along with further loss of humid cloud forest in its range. The species has therefore been classified as endangered (BirdLife 2000) with a rather rough population estimate of 2,000 to 10,000 individuals. The El Oro Parakeet is restricted to a narrow strip of approximately 100km in length and 5-10km in width of humid montane forest between 600 and 1300m in the Azuay and El Oro Province (hence its name) of south-western Ecuador (Ridgely and Robbins 1988), where forest tracts continuously shrink and become more fragmented due to logging and cattle ranching. In fact, after a deforestation rate of 57% per decade between the fifties and the eighties of the last century, just 4% of the original forest cover was still existent in the early nineties (Dodson & Gentry 1991), and by now forest is restricted to the most inaccessible slopes. Currently, there is only one protected site, where the El Oro Parakeet occurs, the Buenaventura ecological reserve owned by the Fundacion Jocotoco, an international Ecuador-based NGO focussing on land purchase for the protection of endangered bird species in Latin America. The reserve lies near Piñas, a small town in the Andean foothills. It was established at the El Oro Parakeet s type locality in order to protect a viable population of the species. The reserve encloses app ha of tracts of humid cloud forest and abandoned pastures (20-30%) at an elevation between 500 and 800m a.s.l (main part) with one area rising up to 1100m a.s.l. So far about 300 bird species have been recorded at this site, including further eight threatened and one near-threatened parrot species all inhabiting wet forests. This site has therefore been identified as one of the most important bird areas in Ecuador (Wege and Long 1995). It also harbours a high number of endemic plant species, of which at least 31 are not protected in any other reserve (Best & Kessler 1995). Apart from the establishment of this reserve, no actions to preserve the El Oro Parakeet from extinction have been taken. Overall, the species ecology, habitat requirements, and even population sizes are still unkown. Consequently, no information exists, whether the reserve holds a viable population of the species since also the range of daily or seasonal movements have not been investigated. Therefore, the project Conservation of the El Oro Parakeet has been launched in March 2002 with LORO 20

21 PARQUE FOUNDATION as the main sponsor, Flora and Fauna International, Strunden Papageien Stiftung, and Stihl Stiftung as other contributing organisations to gather the information on the species ecology and habitat requirements that will form the basis for the implementation of effective conservation measures. The aims of this study were first to obtain general knowledge on the species population size, breeding success, range size, and feeding ecology. Second, we investigated the habitat requirements and specifically the habitat use in the fragmented landscape in the Buenaventura valley, and third we particularly surveyed whether Buenaventura reserve in its current outlines ensures the survival of a viable population of the species. The results are currently used as a basis for the development of a management plan for the reserve. A further aim of the project is to raise environmental awareness and acceptance for the reserve in the neighbouring communities. After six months of project work, we here present preliminary results for a number of the above issues. Population size With a standardized monitoring scheme in the reserve and all major forest tracts in the vicinity we found a population of individuals of the El Oro Parakeet in the Buenaventura valley. Birds form flocks with a flock size between four and 22 individuals. After the breeding season, flocks consist of one to various families which show high flock constancy. The continuous monitoring of the area will reveal any changes in population size (e.g. mortality or emigration of juveniles) over the following year. The monitoring of range use, however, revealed, that the reserve in its current outline does not provide sufficient protection for most of the observed flocks. No flock is entirely protected by the reserve. Only ca. 30 individuals frequently use protected habitat, and most flocks range outside the reserve boundaries. Breeding success By April, all fledglings had left the nests, and breeding activity diminished. The breeding success was rather high in this year s season. Most pairs of the El Oro Parakeet raised successfully one or two juveniles while one pair raised three. Out of 91 birds with known age, 37 were juveniles, and 27 adult pairs, yielding a mean reproductive success of 1.37 juveniles for each pair. This shows a much higher breeding success than found by the sympatric near-threatened Redmasked Parakeet (Aratinga erythrogens) with a reproductive success of only 0.42 juveniles per pair in the valley. The latter species breeds in isolated trees on pastures. Nest trees are easily found by locals and frequently cut down. The nest hole is opened with a machete (photo) to take juveniles out of the nests. These birds are sold in nearby towns while trade seems a to be a minor problem for the El Oro Parakeet due to their nest sites which are difficult to locate inside the forest. Habitat use Besides using forest tracts the species readily utilizes trees on pastures for both, feeding on fruits as well as resting. The latter indicates that pasture trees are not used only Adult individual of the El Oro Parakeeto captured to attach a radio collar. during food scarcity, but that these areas are regularly included in the daily movement pattern of the species. The species feeds on a variety of different fruiting trees, among which are Moraceae, Palmae, and Ficus species. Birds have also been observed feeding on flowers and insects. The species is mostly found in the canopy and subcanopy layer rarely ranging lower down. To assess the home range sizes and the extent of daily and seasonal movements, we employed telemetry to avoid bias by visibiliy and inaccessibility of steep slopes. Transmitters are designed especially for small parrots as neck collars with no antenna sticking out. They have a range of 2.25km, a mass of 3.5g, and a maximum life span of 85 days. Birds are caught at feeding sites with both ground and canopy nets. We tracked a flock of seven individuals which so far uses mainly one forest tract with expeditions to near pastures. The core area of the home range is about 18ha over a five-week period. Other flocks use larger areas and seem to use pastures more frequently than the tracked flock. Different flocks use the same forest tracts, and single fruiting trees are frequently used by several flocks simultaneously. In contrast to earlier records, the parakeets are rarely observed below 900m a.s.l. during and directly after the breeding period. Thus, most parakeet flocks range above the elevation of the major part of the reserve. However, altitudinal shifts in home ranges might occur seasonally. Radio-tracking revealed that the El Oro Parakeet does not necessarily roost in caves, as proposed for his congeners. In fact, the tracked flock usually rests in trees, changing roost sites frequently. Other flocks were observed to roost in hollow trunks on consecutive nights, but changing roost site afterwards. On various occasions, flocks have been observed to investigate holes in trees, even though these holes were not used as roost sites in that particular night. Thus, changes in roosting locality seem to be common. Furthermore, flocks 21

22 Nesting tree of a pair of Aratinga erythrogenys opened with a machete to remove the young for trade roost separately, with no common roost site and thus no communication centre has been found for the different flocks. The species has been seen to feed on various fruiting trees but not on super abundant sugary Melastomatacean fruits in the lower parts of the Buenaventura reserve. These trees were readily used by most frugivorous species of the area, like the Bronze-winged Parrot and the Red-masked Parakeet. The seasonal avoidance of lower altitudinal forest by the El Oro Parakeet seems thus not linked to the lack of an adequate fruit supply at this altitude. Educational initiative The project already started an educational campaign with special emphasis on excursions to the reserve with students of local schools to raise environmental awareness. Up to now, app. 150 students have been led through the reserve, provided with the opportunity to observe the parakeet and other wildlife. During these excursions explanations were given on the threatened ecosystem, the parakeet s life cycle, and the importance of maintaining forests for the sake of both, wildlife and people. At present the unprotected forests are still threatened by hunting, illegal waste dumping and logging activities. Talks at schools and in the communities are planned in cooperation with the mayor of Piñas, which will stress the importance of forests for human life as well as the uniqueness of the reserve in Southwestern Ecuador. The El Oro Parakeet with its name honoring the local province seems an ideal species to build support for the reserve due to the general popularity of parrots. Evaluation and follow-up measures The study so far provides thorough information, which will be used as the basis for an action plan for the species as well as a management plan for the reserve Buenaventura. Results on the parakeet distribution in the valley clearly show, that the existing reserve in its current outline does not guarantee the survival of a stable population of the El Oro Parakeet. However, parakeet numbers in the Buenaventura valley are still high. Based on the findings of population size and flock ranges, the project therefore proposed two further forest tracts considerable for land purchase to Fundacion Jocotoco, both bordering the reserve. An enlargement of the current reserve to a target size of 5000ha is planned by the Fundación Jocotoco for the near future and negotiations with the owners of the land are scheduled for the coming months. The purchase of these two sites at an elevation of 950 and m a.s.l. respectively would greatly increase the potential of the reserve to protect a viable population of the species (from 30 to about 80 individuals). The avoidance of lower elevational forest during the breeding season might be a product of seasonal movements in altitude. Possibly, lower regions dry up due to shrinking lowland forests and therefore lesser cloud production in the coastal region leading to less humidity in the lower parts of the Buenaventura valley. Currently, forest patches of different altitude are being investigated for structural and climatic differences, which could provide an explanation for the species potential retreat in higher forest patches. In general, the high breeding success indicates that breeding conditions in the valley are suitable for the species, and breeding habitat seems not limited. However, logging in the surroundings of the reserve continues, and without the inclusion of yet unprotected habitat into the reserve, habitat loss will inevitably threaten the entire population due to restricted feeding and breeding sites. Based on the current data on parakeet s habitat use the project will develop a model to predict parakeet movements in fragmented landscapes. In general, frugivores track food resources that are unpredictable in space and time and are therefore especially vulnerable to fragmentation due to the increasing distances between feeding sites. Hence, a potential follow-up measure is a reforestation programme on the deserted pastures in the reserve. The identification of food sources and tree species used for breeding by the parakeet could then ensure, that native plant species benefitting the parakeet will be planted. The reforestation of the reserve would also serve other rare wildlife in the area, such as Puma, Ocelot, Mantled Howler Monkeys, and Hoffmann s Two-toed Sloth, as well as the other eight threatened bird species of the reserve all dependent on wet forest. Bibliography Best, B. L. & M. Kessler (1995): Biodiversity and conservation in Tumbesian Ecuador and Peru. Cambridge, UK, BirdLife International. BirdLife International (2000): Threatened birds of the world. Lynx Edition and BirdLife International, Barcelona and Cambridge. Dodson, C. & A. H. Gentry (1991): Biological extinction in western Ecuador. Ann. Miss. Bot. Gard. 78: Ridgely, R. S. & M. B. Robbins (1988): Pyrrhura orcesi, a new parakeet from Southwestern Ecuador, with systematic notes on the P. melanura complex. Willson Bull. 100: Wege, D. & A. J. Long (1995): Key areas for threatened birds in the neotropics. BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK. 22

23 Sponsors and Donors of Loro Parque Fundación Loro Parque is the Foundation s principal sponsor. Therefore, the financial support provided by our sponsors, members and donors can be dedicated 100% to the wide range of parrot and biodiversity conservation activities of Loro Parque Fundación. Over Euros Over Euros Up to Euros Hotel Botanico, EMCADISA, PANALU, GRUMBACH, Pretty Bird, HARIBO, Vogelfreunde Achern, The Bird Endowment, Verein der Vogelfreunde Iserlohn, Cash and Carry, Emerencio e Hijos, Georg Fischer, CITA, BETACAR, Hagen Avicultural Research Institute, Grupo CODORNIU, PAKARA, Agencia Guimerá, ROHERSA, Rotary Club Distrito 2200, MRW, Artecolor,FIXONI MATUTANO, Viajes Santa Lucía, Kanarien- u. Exotenzuchtverein Forchheim 1963,CAVAS CATALANAS, MAYA, CELGAN,Club de Leones, INTERFOIL, IBERLANDA GARDEN, Kölle-Zoo, Bruño. Malinda Chouinard, Diane Bock, Manuel Fraga Alba,, Renate Brucker, Carolyn Debuse & Kim Fondrk, Gisela Tiemann. We want to thank all our sponsors and donors 23

24

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