The Ara Project – named for the genus of macaws – is dedicated to saving the two native species of Costa Rica: the well-known Scarlet Macaw and the endangered Great Green Macaw. The project helps protect these incredible birds from threats by establishing captive breeding programs and reintroducing offspring into the wild.
The Indianapolis Zoo joined these efforts in 2015, and recently, the Zoo’s resources provided an opportunity for Dr. Sam Williams, director of the project, and his mentor and the 2016 Indianapolis Prize winner, Dr. Carl Jones. The pair are now working to monitor and manage wild Great Green Macaws to develop the best practices for parrot conservation.
Since 2001, the World Parrot Trust has worked to stabilize populations of the critically endangered Blue-Throated Macaw by understanding the species’ ecology and creating successful reproductive recovery programs. This year, the Indianapolis Zoo is supporting the organization by building a field station in a new reserve to help monitor wild populations. Now less than 200 Blue-Throated Macaws remain in the wild.