Saving the Scarlet Macaw

Macaw bird captured in the forest near Buena Vista Del Rincon

The scarlet macaw, or lapa roja, is one of the iconic bird species of Costa Rica. It stands out for its exuberant beauty highlighted by the intensity of its long and abundant plumage where red and blue colors are combined with its deep yellow eyes.

In addition to its beauty, it is a very social species and it's common for them to approach and interact with people, they are friendly characters that communicate with loud sounds as if they were talking to each other and to those around them. 

These macaws are native to Central America, and in Costa Rica they inhabit both the tropical rainforest and dry forest. They can be seen in the trees where they feed mainly on fruits and nuts or when they fly in colorful and noisy flocks. 

This emblematic bird of Costa Rica is under THREAT OF EXTINCTION mainly due to the loss of its natural habitat by indiscriminate logging and irresponsible breeding to be marketed as a domestic pet. This species has entered the red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). In Costa Rica, sightings have decreased significantly and it is believed that in all of Central America there are only about 4,000 specimens left, so we must extend our efforts and protect these iconic animals.

Among the main recommendations are environmental education in schools, the involvement of the communities and environments where they can reproduce, and establishing controls and strong penalties against illegal hunting of macaws. We sincerely hope that the increased awareness of the dangers these beautiful creatures face will help to preserve them for years to come.