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Guatemalan poachers in the Chiquibul target Scarlet Macaws

Guatemalan poachers inside the Chiquibul Forest are responsible for the loss of more than twenty-five Scarlet Macaws.  This is according to Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) as they express concerns over the illegal wildlife trafficking.  A release from the FCD noted that in a national consensus conducted this year, it was found that Belize has a minimum of 334 individual parrots in the wild. The FCD has rung the alarm, signalling that something needs to be done before the birds go extinct. Executive director of FCD, Rafael Manzanero, told us that more volunteers would be needed to help remedy the situation.
Rafael Manzanero, Executive Director, FCD

Rafael Manzanero, Executive Director, FCD: “Well the scarlet macaw is basically targeted because it is sold on the market as a pet and so it is one of those main species targeted for illegal wildlife trafficking. It seems that these guys who are basically poaching parrots for the many years they have been able to become more skilled in being able to treat and to keep parrots alive. It is interesting because it appears that even small and tiny parrots are being removed from the nests and in fact some of them might still have their eyes closed but it seems that they know how to treat these birds that the probability would seem that these birds are able to survive even though I’m pretty sure some of them might die but they would still take the risk in terms of keeping them very small and rearing them in their own house and after a couple of weeks or months they would put in on the market for sale. Earlier this year we managed to find other remote nesting and breeding areas for macaws thus we believe that it is those areas that are really remote in the upper Macal and other areas that are basically being targeted. We were not really certain about those areas before but earlier this year around the month of February we basically launched some patrols. Basically starting from November up until January we were able to locate what appeared to be other nesting areas and so it seems to us that those would be the main areas being targeted over the last recent months so those areas now we will have to start to look to put in more patrols and more people to have a sort of monitoring program in those remote areas. The only problem with that is that it requires more man power and thus we would need another 300% more of basically men that we would require to do that work and that would mean a lot of finances which we do not have. So the other alternative is basically to look at those that are under threat and hopefully the Government will give us the permission to extract them and put them in a lab setting.”

FCD’s press release also called for the highest penalties be imposed on poachers caught in the wild.