Parrot Species Believed Extinct Rebounds to 1,000

The yellow-eared parrot of Colombia was thought to be extinct until 1998 when a tiny population of  81 was discovered in the Andes mountains. Equally surprising  and welcome, is the very recent news that population has grown to 1,000. Because of the rebound, IUCN announced the rare bird’s conservation status has been downgraded from critically endangered to just endangered. Moving the bar in such a positive direction has been no easy feat, and has involved the efforts of 47 organizations around the world and 180 individuals. Over the  last eleven years they have collaborated to protect the few remaining yellow-eared parrots, to conserve their natural habitat, and increase their numbers in the wild.

ABC’s President George Fenwick said, “This stunning and truly remarkable success shows what can be achieved when committed organizations, institutions and  individuals come together with a clear and common purpose — to save a species.”

In Colombia, the leading conservation organization Fundación ProAves played a key role. They designated a Parrot Conservation Corridor to protect the land where they live, and acquired 10,000 acres critical to their survival. Also they assisted with reforestation of those areas to rejuvenate their habitat. For the last seven years they managed a Next Box program which created nesting sites for the parrots. The additional nesting sites helped increase the parrot population directly. Another program to reduce consumption of the wax palm tree, which is a very important part of the parrot’s habitat, was begun. (The parrots live in these trees.) Wax palm tree conservation was supported also by the Catholic Church there, and it was effective.

For now, the parrots are doing much better, but even with a population rejuvenated to its current status, it remains endangered and still requires help.

The following organizations assisted in bringing the parrot population back from nearly dying out.

ProAves Fundacion

American Bird Conservancy

Loro Parque

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Image Credit: ProAves Fundacion

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Val M.
Val M.2 years ago

Yes!!!!! Go parrots!

Elisa F.
Elisa F.2 years ago

Wonderful News! Thanks for sharing.

Carole H.
Carole H.2 years ago

Good news thank you

Fred Hoekstra
Fred Hoekstra2 years ago

Thank you Jake, for Sharing this!

Terry V.
Terry V.2 years ago


Winn Adams
Winn Adams3 years ago

Good News for a change - terrific!

Kathleen L.
Kathleen L.3 years ago

Nice to have some good news!

Mary Marchetti
Mary Marchetti3 years ago

I must admit, I skimmed this first just enough to get the good news. I just read it more carefully, and somehow it seems strange to celebrate that a species is on the "endangered" list. Yes, it most CERTAINLY is an amazing and wonderful improvement from "critically endangered," and that really is to be celebrated. Clearly, though, much more needs to be done. The work these organizations and individuals did is phenomenal, but we all need to remember to protect the vegetation in Columbia, and other locales to protect other species, through the choices we make with our purchases and our actions.

Mary Marchetti
Mary Marchetti3 years ago

Amazing!! How absolutely wonderful!

Nelson B.
Nelson Baker3 years ago

Great news.