The scarlet macaw has the widest distribution of the 17 species of limpets, and is found from southwestern Mexico to northern Bolivia. But the subspecies of Mexico and Central America is endangered and has been little studied. In Costa Rica, the scarlet macaw used to range on both slopes from sea level to about 1500 meters altitude in many forested habitats. However, habitat loss and lapeo, or theft of chicks, caused the population to decline radically and by 1978 there were practically only two main populations left: on the Osa Peninsula and in the Central Pacific. Today, several projects are trying to reintroduce scarlet macaws to sites where they were eliminated. Below, we tell the story of the conservation and recovery of the endangered scarlet macaw in the Central Pacific, with wild macaw management within its habitat and support from local communities and ecotourism.
With the objective of turning it into an environmental education tool in the Central Pacific Conservation Area, scientists from Texas A&M University, under the supervision of biologist Dr. Christopher Vaughan, initiated in October 2021 new studies of the reproductive cycle of the Red Macaw (Ara Macao), as well as an integrated program of studies on ecology, genetics, health and conservation of psittacine parrots in Costa Rica, including Punta Leona as one of the research sites, due to the success we have had with the conservation program and artificial nests since 1994.