Scarlet Macaw Conservation and Health Program in the Maya Biosphere Reserve, Guatemala
Luis Fernando Guerra, Melvin MéridaWilk
Rony García, Luis Fernando Guerra, Melvin Mérida, Livio Galosi, Robert Moore
Although the scarlet macaw (Ara macao) ranges from northern Mesoamerica through Peru and Brazil, and is classified by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as of Least Concern, the iconic Mesoamerican sub-species (A. m. cyanoptera) is highly threatened. Poaching and habitat loss, largely driven by human-caused forest fires, cattle ranching, and the expansion of human settlements, have fragmented and reduced the total population of A. m. cyanoptera to less than 1,000 animals, distributed across southern Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) estimates that 250 scarlet macaws remain within Guatemalas Maya Biosphere Reserve (MBR). Despite the importance of the species and the extremely high risk of extinction, there is very little reliable information about the population parameters and, mainly, there is no information on the health status of the wild population of the MBR.Health data in the wild are limited and are not representative of the entire population, so it is important for the conservation of the scarlet macaw to describe its population trends in time and space, to measure the effects of threats in reproduction, viability and knowing their health status to achieve successful management of the species. WCS Guatemala has tried to establish a baseline of the health status of the red macaw population in the RBM mediate using hematological values, blood chemistry and serology of several infectious diseases. In addition to obtaining the clinical profile (physical examination) of the chicks through the last 10 years.