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Dear Parrots magazine,

Corn to protect wildlife

The article on the Corn Replacement Project, which appeared in the June issue, highlighted how important this project is in conserving the Lear's Macaw in the wild.

I first visited the region in Bahia where they occurred some 20 years ago and can remember how small the population was then.

A number of organisations were listed in the article, which supported the project two years ago. Since then, Loro Parque Fundacion and Emerald Feathers, the Canadian on-line store for parrot lovers, have also joined this group and are providing additional invaluable support. It is an expensive project with the cost of feet on the ground and replacement corn.

In 2014 the team covered an area of just over 6,200 sq. km and issued vouchers for 1,280 sacks of corn – each sack 60 kg – with an average price of $US12 per sack.

Unfortunately the situation is not improving with the continuing high level of human pressure on the natural resources of the region contributing to the conflict between local human populations and native fauna, especially the Lear's Macaw. Native vegetable resources have become more and more restricted because of the destruction of the Caatinga vegetation.

The team has to work hard to develop effective actions to increase the supply of food resources for the native fauna and to make the local people much more aware of the importance of sustainable use of the native vegetation and a life-style living in harmony with the environment in a semi-arid climate in a way that contributes to the conservation of the Caatinga biome.

Let's hope that other organisations not yet involved will consider contributing.

Tony Pittman, by email



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