Text by Clayton Norman for Tico Times
Ara Project, which breeds great green and scarlet macaws in Alajuela, needs funding to save them.
The Ara Project, Castles said, has released more than 100 scarlet macaws – which are also endangered, with a Costa Rican population of about 2,000 – into the wild, mostly in the Osa Peninsula. The group has released 10 great green macaws at a site near Manzanillo on the southern Caribbean coast and plans to release 30 more within the next two years. The hope is that the reintroduced birds in the Manzanillo area will eventually expand their territory to link up with the genetically distinct wild population living around Sarapiquí.
The Ara Project began in the 1980s when Margot and Richard Frisius bought land in Alajuela and got the area licensed as a zoological park. They started caring for parrots that had been given up by private owners or confiscated by the government.
In 2008, Margot Frisius passed away after transferring control of the project to a trust named the Ara Project.
A private donor has given four hectares to the Ara Project for relocation of the aviaries and breeding program near Punta Islita in the northwestern province of Guanacaste. That’s the same amount of land the project enjoys in Alajuela, but the group, which is sponsored by Beirute Refrigeration, is lacking funds to develop the property with roads, electricity and the multiple aviaries and buildings necessary to relocate.
Donate at thearaproject.org/donate.php
Full story at ticotimes.net/Current-Edition/Saving-the-great-green-macaw_Friday-June-15-2012/