Puerto Rican Amazon Update


Dear Friends and Colleagues:

I hope these short lines find all of you and your loved ones doing great and having success in your personal goals, your plans, and your projects. Earlier this year I sent a message that began as "The 2013 breeding season in the lguaca Aviary (former Luqillo Aviary) began with the right foot..." Well, we had another awesome season on behalf of recovery efforts of this species.

As many of you may know, the captive management of endangered Puerto Rican Amazon is a collaborative effort between the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (Jose L. Vivaldi Memorial Aviary, better known as the Rfo Abaja Aviary) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (lguaca Aviary former Luquillo Aviary). Together, we had another great year. Ricardo Valentin, the Rio Abaja Aviary Manager and Aviculturist produced a record year for the program of 66 chicks (a record for the Rio Abaja aviary and a record for the captive breeding program.) At the lguaca Aviary, we produced 41 chicks. That is a total of 107 chicks in one season, a number

of hatch lings never seen before; and it is the first time in the history of the captive efforts for the recovery of A. vittata that more that 100 chicks were produced in a single season. Furthermore, since the first captive chick was produced, this year we reached the mark of 1000 hatch lings in captivity.

Both aviaries had high rates of fertility, hatchability and survival. Actually, the survival of hatch lings for the lguaca Aviary, 86.36%, has ("

been the higher in the history of the Luquillo/ lguaca Aviary. Survival for 2012 was a record !"'as well until that year and was 70.17%. We are : extremely pl:ased with the results, but we need , to keep working hard as a team to have even _better years and keep raising the bar.

Both aviaries were able to provide fertile eggs and chicks for the management and success of several nesting cavities in the wild at El Yunque National Forest (formerly known as the Caribbean National Forest)and at the Rio Abaja State Forest; and being the cornerstone of the release program, providing enough individuals for such purposes. We are very proud to say that when you put together all the components of the program (both captive breeding facilities, both wild flock management programs and the releases program) we have an all-time record of around 500 Puerto Rican Amazons.

Passion and teamwork have been the key elements for success. I am extremely excited to share this good news with all of you. Please, feel free to share this good news with as much people as you want. I believe that it is great to hear this kind of news about the success of conservation programs and how we can collaborate to make more of these success histories.