The Network

Our Mission

To recover endangered neotropical parrot populations through leading a network that develops and implements best practices in conservation

Our Vision

A future with thriving parrot populations in healthy, connected forests, across their former ranges.

why parrots?

Parrots are the most charismatic, intelligent and recognizable of all birds, yet they face numerous threats to their survival. Parrots inspire a sense of awe and wonder, making them ideal flagships for conservation. By saving parrots, we can save entire ecosystems.

the macaw recovery network

The various Recovery Programs for the parrot species we work with are focused on hands-on conservation strategies to help bring them back from the edge of extinction. However, we recognize that to make a real difference for the parrots, we need to advance conservation across their range in a collaborative, cross-border effort.  We see our role as to support our partners and to connect teams in the region with each other as well as with international experts and funders. Many parrot species are on the brink of extinction and it is a pivotal time to band together and protect parrots and nature.

In 2018, the network was founded after nearly a decade working under the name The Ara Project. As the focus shifted from a local to a more range-wide approach, the need for a network became more apparent and so a name change followed. The network is professionally staffed by local and international experts and volunteers who work to save and restore parrot populations across the Neo tropics. Our primary focus is the endangered Great Green Macaw. They are in desperate need of our attention due to their recent, rapid population decline. They can be found in fragmented populations from Honduras to Ecuador.

The Network’s main offices are in San Jose. The Great Green Macaw field base from where our field team operates is located in the north of the country, in the province of Heredia. Being in the heart of the Macaw’s range has been proven essential for effective monitoring and management activities. On the North- Pacific coast, Punta Islita is the home to our Breeding Center with rescued Scarlet and Great Green Macaws. This rescued Macaw refuge is one of the worlds biggest and most professional breeding programs for conservation purposes. At the same location, we manage the Punta Islita Wild Macaw Reserve which is home to a reintroduced population of Scarlet Macaws. Across all our conservation programs we are constantly fine-tuning our efforts to become an internationally recognized center of excellence.”

The organization’s history includes the development of various re-introduction sites across the country for both species. In previous years nearly 50 Great Green Macaws were released on the southern Caribbean coast in Manzanillo and over 160 Scarlet Macaws were released in Tiskita, Palo Verde, Curu and now Punta Islita, all located on the Pacific coast.

  • supporting a network

    The Macaw Recovery Network brings together organizations that are passionate about parrot conservation and interested in the development and sharing of practical knowledge. This collective of wildlife professionals encourages increased capacity through research, training and exchanges among conservationists. We believe the recovery of the neotropical native parrot species across their ranges is only possible when these forward thinking individuals and organizations come together to push the boundaries in parrot conservation.

    The Network has established key partnerships and we are working to add more strategic partners who are tackling the threats Macaws in each country are facing. As we continue to expand the Network and understand the challenges our partners face, we will work together to develop solutions and support effective conservation.

  • apprentice programs

    As part of the Network, an annual Apprentice Program was launched in 2016 to formalize practical and theoretical training on in-situ management of Macaws for conservation purposes. This Program is available for partners working directly on the Great Green or Scarlet Macaw and for Post-Graduates who have an interest in pursuing their career in the conservation of parrots. The annual curriculum includes management of breeding Macaw pairs, but also other skills that are beneficial in running the operations of a center and the management of an NGO. The application deadline for this seven month program, starting in December, is August 15th of each year.

  • skills development

    The Network serves to improve all areas of our work from wild population management and captive breeding to marketing, governance and accounting. Through our volunteer program, apprenticeship and knowledge-share initiatives, we are able to teach and develop these areas as well as introduce other skills that are quickly becoming indispensable in the field of conservation. We do this for the prosperity and success of communities and the natural world, whose dynamic qualities allow us to constantly explore new frontiers.

  • international programs

    Not only do we bring together partners to share knowledge and expertise, we also lead various programs that, together with these partners, are able to have a range wide effect.

    – Annual census

    – Annual Macaw Festival in collaboration with the Centro Cientifico Tropical

    – We hope to develop and implement an educational conservation tool, The Macaw App, where people can help collect data on Macaw sightings.

Ourrecovery program

Through ongoing research and a team of experts, we have developed the Macaw Recovery Program. Whilst actively working in Costa Rica on best practices regarding these four pillars, we facilitate the exchange of skills and knowledge with partners across the species range.

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Meet theteam

Our dedicated staff daily operations to ensure that our programs run smoothly. Throughout the year, they are joined by dozens of volunteers, In all areas of our work our team are continually expanding their knowledge whether that’s about the birds or conservation.

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become a volunteer

Have a life-changing experience and make a difference for the most charismatic birds of Costa Rica.
Check for positions available and apply today

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