Dominica Parrot Rescue Update: Jacos In Rehab

The Dominica Forestry, Wildlife, and Parks Division has generously granted permission to share an early December update here re the ongoing efforts to rehabilitate Red-necked amazons in the wake of Hurricane Maria. Each bird is crucial to rebuilding the population of this native Dominican parrot in the coming years. Thanks to Stephan Durand, Dr. Erika Flores, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), and to everyone involved with the daily care of these precious survivors of Maria’s wrath. jaco pair

A gorgeous pair of Jaco parrots aka Red-necked amazons in rehab. Aren’t they beautiful? All of these rehabilitated birds will be released back to the wild, whenever possible, as soon as their initial injuries heal.

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A Jaco parrot in recovery after surgery to his left wing

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Dr. Erika Flores of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), treating an injured Jaco brought in by a farmer from the north of the island. IFAW was founded in 1969, with projects operating today in 40 countries. The organization deployed a team to Dominica soon after Maria struck the island.

Dr Erika Flores from the IFAW teamDr. Flores observes the progress of Jacos in rehab

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A Jaco post-surgery, just after a tumor was removed from underneath his right eye

Stephen Durand w Dr FloresStephen Durand of the Forestry Department discusses ongoing parrot care and conservation with Dr. Flores.

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Recovering Jacos. Sadly, no surviving Sisserous have been brought in to rehab, post-Maria. I will continue to post updates here as I receive news. Thanks for dropping by– and for your interest in the future of Dominica’s precious native parrots.

All photos courtesy of Dominica’s Forestry, Wildlife, and Parks Division

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Jaco Photos and News of a Surviving Sisserou Pair: An Update from Karl Watson

Many thanks to Karl Watson for permission to share his updates from Barbados here. His latest news, first posted on the Wild Caribbean Facebook page, includes word of a surviving Sisserou pair, as follows:

As promised, I said I would post some Dominica pictures after Dr Lennox Honychurch came to Barbados. These are some of his photographs. They tell a bittersweet story of coastal regeneration and survival, contrasted with a broken and destroyed interior. They follow a specific order.

1Red necked parrots feeding on the seed pods of the West Indian white cedar.

5A drone shot of Dr Honychurch’s property at Turtle Point, Woodford Hill, where the Red-necked parrots have gathered. Don’t be fooled by the apparent greenery of the cliff area around his house. Zoom in on the mountains in the back. This is the Morne Diablotin range. Seven weeks after Maria, the area looks as if an atom bomb had been dropped on it. I don’t know if the environmental damage caused by this natural disaster can ever properly be assessed, but the destruction of the wildlife in this vast and completely devastated area must have been enormous. This is the heartland of wild Dominica, the prime habitat of the Imperial parrot.

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Next follows a close up of the Emerald Pool area at the top of the Castle Bruce valley.  I wish I had a before picture of this area to fully emphasize the horror of Maria’s destruction. 

7A photograph of broken, twisted vegetation. See if you can pick out the parrots among the broken limbs!

8The final photograph shows two Red necked parrots among the broken branches.

Dr Honychurch has confirmation from Jem Winston of the survival of a pair of Imperial parrots in the Three Rivers area on the eastern slopes of Morne Trois Pitons…He has asked a multiplicity of sources/observers including officials of the Forestry Department and workmen of the DOWASCO (water authority) who have been working in the headwaters of several of Dominica’s rivers and are therefore in a position to observe any passing parrots.

Dr Honychurch’s last words of hope are : “Dominica has vast, inaccessible areas where Imperial parrots could still remain unseen.” So let us not yet write them off as a species. They have survived past hurricanes….. maybe enough Sisserou have survived the fury of Maria to save them from certain extinction. It would be a tragedy if this bird was to disappear as so many other West Indian bird species have.

Thank you, Karl! News of a surviving Sisserou pair does indeed offer reason for hope. Keep the updates coming.

To read about the November 8 documentation of a lone Sisserou at Morne Saint Mary south of Roseau, click here.

Dominica Parrot Rescue Update 11/15/2017

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Today’s update from the Dominica Forestry, Wildlife, and Parks Division/Education Unit :

One of the many Jaco parrots rescued by patriotic Dominicans and delivered to the Forestry Division for care at the captive breeding facility located at the Botanic Gardens

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Thanks to every kind-hearted rescuer for taking the time to help Dominica’s parrots in this time of crisis. Every surviving Amazona arausciaca is precious.  I am amazed that these birds were able to make it through a Category 5 hurricane alive, especially when you consider the incredible damage to their forest home.  Barring any permanent handicap, these native beauties will be returned to the wild once they are ready and able to fly again. Check out those vibrant colors!

As of this writing, no injured Sisserous have been brought in to the rescue center. While one wild Sisserou has been documented post-Maria, the fate of the overall population of Amazona imperialis remains a mystery.