Scarlet Macaw Rescue
Many things could be said about the most beautiful
bird of the Mesoamerican lowlands, the Scarlet Macaw...
The Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) is about 30-36
inches in length. It used to live in the lowland Mesoamerican
jungle, the Chiapas region in Mexico, the western
part of Guatemala, in the Peten jungle, and the entire
Caribbean and Pacific Coasts of Central America.
It could also be found in South America’s
rainforests, such as in the Manu National Reserve
in Peru. Scarlet Macaws live in valleys -close to
rivers and lagoons- where they can obtain the minerals
they need to eat in order to prevent intoxication
from certain plants they feed on.
Both male and female of this species are similar in appearance:
bright red plumage, yellow upper wing coverts, blue rump
and tail covers, whitish skin on their faces, pale gray
bills above and black below. They are a beautiful and extremely
To the Maya Civilization Scarlet Macaws were Sacred. They
represented the daylight and the rising Sun. They used to
hold ceremonies in their honor, like they did for their
gods as well as for the Sacred Quetzal and the Lord of Night,
the stalker, the Jaguar. Many lords and rulers of Maya cities
took the name "Macaw" for themselves to magnify
their personality and power.
Deforestation has reduced the habitats to just a few areas
where Scarlet Macaws still survive. On top of it all Scarlet
Macaws are highly prized in the illegal pet trade, sometimes
being sold for up to $2500. Therefore, some people in certain
communities adjacent to Scarlet Macaws’ breeding and
nesting sites have found poaching or "harvesting"
their pigeons a lucrative opportunity to help increase their
Ecotourism and Adventure Specialists is now supporting
projects for the protection of Scarlet Macaws.
We work together with the communities we visit in conservation
and economic alternatives for people living in the areas
where the last Scarlet Macaws live. Through ecotourism we
hope to be giving them the opportunity of receiving economic
benefits and be addressing a big part of the real problem...
In any case, we are confident that through our activities
with these communities we are taking steps towards securing
the survival of Scarlet Macaws...
Ixcoche Lagoon, an important nesting site on the Usumacinta
River, is a natural stop for Scarlet Macaws in the Peten
and the Lacandon jungle. One of the most important communities
in the area is called "Laureles". The people from
Laureles have been poaching the Macaws’ babies and
taking them out of the jungle, across the border (with Mexico),
to sell. We are sharing the idea of taking care of Macaws
with them and they are open to the idea of receiving benefited
from ecotourism. Soon we would like to see them taking people
through the jungle to see the Scarlet Macaws in their natural
Every time you or anybody else chooses to take a trip through
the Usumacinta River to see the Scarlet Macaws with us,
you are contributing to its conservation and the economical
development of many people in the area. Next time you are
planning a birding trip, don’t forget that the future
of this sacred bird is in your hands! Check our tours coming