The Ara Project has released 100 Scarlet Macaws throughout Costa Rica. Now and since 2011, the Ara Project is releasing Great Green Macaws from a new reintroduction center near Manzanillo, south of Puerto Viejo de Limon. With only 2,500 of these birds left in the world, the Great Green Macaws are considered to be in danger of extinction.
The Ara Project's breed and release program has successfully reintroduced hundreds of macaws across Costa Rica, and the reintroduction session in Manzanillo is an excellent opportunity for bird watchers and wildlife enthusiasts to glimpse these beautiful creatures. This is a unique photo opportunity and a boon to birders.
Green Macaw in Manzanillo — Photo courtesy of Ara Project
The landscape along the Caribbean coast is the original natural habitat for these stunningly colorful birds, and the Great Green Macaws that have been released seem to be staying in the region. Breeding and releasing Scarlet Macaws and Great Green Macaws that are "hatched to fly free," the Ara Project credits a “soft release methodology” for the macaws’ impressive 85% survival rate.
A visit to the Ara Project for a guided tour of the reintroduction center guarantees an up-close-and personal encounter with the Great Green Macaws before they fly free in the wild for the first time. This presents a unique photo opportunity that has birders from around the world excited.
The Ara Project is a licensed zoological breeding center and non-profit organization that was founded in 1989. The project is dedicated to the conservation of the two native macaw species of Costa Rica: the Great Green Macaw and the Scarlet Macaw. A Costa Rican not-for-profit organization, the Ara Project works in conjunction with the Costa Rican Ministry of Environment, Energy & Telecommunications in its efforts.
In addition to the Great Green Macaws, Costa Rica is home to nearly 900 native bird species, including the resplendent and elusive quetzal, the big-billed toucan and Costa Rica's national bird the thrush, which can be seen everywhere.
Today, the Ara Project is home to over 150 breeding adult birds who, due to injuries and disabilities, would have little chance of survival in the wild. Following a gradual process of rehabilitation, the birds first form breeding pairs. Then, by employing specialized rearing techniques and aviary management, the Ara Project watches them produce healthy and genetically diverse offspring.
The Ara Project is offering guided tours of the Manzanillo reintroduction center daily from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Reservations must be made in advance. A $20 donation is suggested. All ages are welcome.
Telephone: (506) 8971-1436