New World parrots are declining throughout their range. Blue and Gold Macaw Ara ararauna was extirpated from the island of Trinidad in the late 1960s through anthropogenic processes. The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is assisting the Wildlife Section of the Forestry Division, Trinidad on a mission to restore the species into its historical range within the Bush-Bush Sanctuary in the Nariva Swamp. The Sanctuary has been protected by the government of Trinidad and is the home of the endangered Red-bellied Macaw Ara manilata and West Indian Manatee Trichechus manatus. Zoo and Wildlife personnel participated in three separate releases, beginning in December 1999 through to March 2000. The initial release consisted of an identical sex group of macaws followed by two additional releases of pairs/groups of birds. Of 18 Blue and Gold Macaws, 14 were released into the Nariva Swamp and are currently being monitored by the Wildlife Section, Zoo personnel and surrounding community. Translocation of wild populations of parrots has proven to be a viable solution to restocking wild populations that have been regionally extirpated.
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