The Blue-throated Macaw, found in the tropical savanna of northern Bolivia, is considered one of the most threatened bird species in the world. For the past three years, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden has supported an effort to enhance Blue-throated Macaw reproduction in the wild through the Bird Endowment’s Nido Adoptivo project.. Initiated in 2007, Nido Adoptivo has installed hundreds of nest boxes to supplement natural breeding.
Intensive research on the macaw’s flight and migration patterns determined placement of the nest boxes. The box design was modeled after natural nests found in holes of palm trees where chicks successfully hatched and fledged. Nest box position, depth, vertical and horizontal lengths, and the size of access holes were studied. Additional modifications will be implemented for the 2013-2014 season.
2012-2013 was the most successful year yet. Ten healthy Blue-throated Macaw chicks hatched and fledged from the boxes.
For the first time, a breeding pair was noted with leg bands, meaning they had been hatched some years earlier in the program.
A total of 39 Blue-throated Macaw chicks have been produced in Nido Adoptivo™ nest boxes during the previous six breeding seasons.
As a consequence of the program’s ongoing successes, we continue to see the population increase in the Southern Zone, with flocks of Blue-throated Macaws now traveling between five local private ranches. This was unheard of in the area five years ago.
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is one of the 27 sponsors of the new and improved nest boxes being monitored during the 2013-2014 season which is underway.
Nido Adoptivo™ has begun the funding phase of the 2014-15 breeding season in anticipation of building upon seven consecutive years of success in Bolivia.
To learn how you can help support the Nido Adoptivo project, visit http://www.birdendowment.org/index.shtml.
January 23, 2014 1 Comment
Guest blogger: Sophie Williams, Advanced Inquiry Program (AIP) student and consultant on the Passenger Pigeon Memorial renovation
2014 marks 100 years since the extinction of the passenger pigeon. It also marks the beginning of Project Passenger Pigeon—a year of events, exhibitions, and engagement to commemorate this anniversary and promote species conservation and habitat preservation. The Cincinnati Zoo is proud to be a part of this international effort, which brings together scientists, conservationists, educators, and artists, musicians, and filmmakers to increase awareness of the passenger pigeon’s story and use it as an opportunity to engage and motivate people to get involved in sustainable actions that promote biodiversity and deter future human-caused extinctions.
Events will be taking place throughout the United States as part of Project Passenger Pigeon. Lectures and talks by scientists, researchers, and other experts on the passenger pigeon will be happening throughout the year, and educational exhibits will appear in many zoos, museums, and schools, including the renovation of our own Passenger Pigeon Memorial.
The arts will also play a significant role in engaging people in unique and meaningful ways with the story of the passenger pigeon, nature, and conservation. Project Passenger Pigeon will feature plays, poetry readings, and art installations around the country. A documentary film, From Billions to None, is also being created to illustrate the passenger pigeon’s history and impact.
Three new books on the passenger pigeon will be published this year. A Feathered River Across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon’s Flight to Extinction, by naturalist Joel Greenberg, is the first major work on the bird in 60 years. Check out the book review in the New Yorker, and Greenberg’s discussion of the book and the importance of the story of the passenger pigeon to conservation on the Diane Rehm Show on NPR. A Research Associate at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago Academy of Sciences (and organizer of Project Passenger Pigeon), and The Field Museum, Greenberg will give lectures and hold book signings throughout the year, including a stop in Ohio.
At the Cincinnati Zoo, we will renovate the current Passenger Pigeon Memorial thanks to a generous grant from the Luther Charitable Foundation. We will also take part in a variety of events related to Project Passenger Pigeon. For example, be sure to join us for a very special Barrows Lecture Series speaker; on September 3, John Ruthven will talk about his connection to the passenger pigeon through art. He will receive the 2014 Cincinnati Zoo Wildlife Conservation Award.
We hope you will join us for some of the special events we have planned for this year – more details to come. In the meantime, we are moving forward with exciting new plans for our Passenger Pigeon Memorial renovation, which we can’t wait to share with you! This is shaping up to be a great year to recognize the efforts being made in wildlife conservation around the world.
To read the other posts in this series, click here. Join us next month as we highlight the Cincinnati Zoo’s efforts in species conservation and celebrate the work of others in our community and beyond.
January 10, 2014 No Comments
Artists are needed to participate in the 2nd Annual Rain Barrel Art Project, hosted by the Regional Storm Water Collaborative and the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. This joint effort continues to educate the community about water conservation and pollution caused by storm water runoff. A great way to reduce that runoff is to harness rainwater in your very own rain barrel. Typically, rain barrels are a drab color, but with the touch of the artists, they come alive with scenes of nature, wildlife, Cincinnati, and many other designs, making them much more appealing to install on the side of your home. Utilizing a rain barrel could save a homeowner up to 1000 gallons of water in just one summer.
Artists may submit their artwork ideas via SaveLocalWaters.org now through January 25th, 2014. The top 50 entries accepted will be given rain barrels provided by the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati, to bring their proposed artwork to life. The completed barrels will be displayed at our Go Green Garden Exhibit during the month of April 2014. We are thrilled to be hosting the rain barrel event once again. As the Greenest Zoo in America, we are always looking for ways to inspire our community to take action that can impact the environment in positive ways.
The grand finale to the event is the Rain Barrel Art Auction scheduled on April 24th, 2014. The painted rain barrels will be auctioned during our 5th Annual Party for the Planet Earth Day Celebration. Proceeds from the auction will be split between the Zoo and the Regional Storm Water Collaborative to further more education and awareness.
For more information regarding the Rain Barrel Art Project or SaveLocalWaters.org, contact John Nelson, Public Relations Specialist, at 513-772-7645 or visit the website at: http://savelocalwaters.org/rain-barrel-art-project
December 27, 2013 No Comments