Our partner Asociación Armonía:
Blue-throated Macaw Reserves in Bolivia
Bird Endowment’s fundraising efforts benefit our partner on the ground, Asociación Armonía in Bolivia. Since 1996, Armonía is dedicated to implementing effective conservation strategies and coordinating with local communities to protect the country's wildlife and habitats in programs throughout the country.
Armonía owns and manages two reserves protecting the Blue-throated Macaw: the Barba Azul Nature Reserve and the Laney Rickman Blue-throated Macaw Reserve. Below is an overview of the two reserves, a compilation of information collected from Asociación Armonía. For more details, please visit their website here
Both reserves are located within the Beni Savannas of Bolivia which flood for the better part of the year as seasonal rainfall (November to May) merges with meltwater from the Andes. This highly inaccessible habitat, made up of grasslands dotted with forest islands, is under threat. The ecosystem suffers from the overgrazing and regular burning associated with traditional cattle ranching as well as the newer invasion of soy farming. Armonía is working hard to improve the land and rebuild the habitat on these important properties, "Saving the Blues."
Armonía's two Blue-throated Macaw reserves protect vital habitat for two isolated subpopulations. Light green lines on the map indicate the ranges of the Blue-throated Macaw subpopulations. The Barba Azul Nature Reserve protects the Western subpopulation; the Laney Rickman Blue-throated Macaw Reserve protects the Southern subpopulation. Armonía has plans to perform a Blue-throated Macaw DNA study to understand differences between the subpopulations.
Acquired in 2008, Barba Azul Nature Reserve (now declared a Private Natural Heritage Reserve) protects foraging grounds for the Western subpopulation of the Blue-throated Macaw. The birds leave the reserve area during the rainy season, which is when the Blue-throated Macaw breed, and return in May or June for the dry season. Armonia efforts continue to try to locate the primary breeding ground for the western subpopulation.
Armonia staff have worked tirelessly on restoring habitat at Barba Azul, and their efforts are making a strong positive impact. This reserve is part of Armonía’s ecotourism and has infrastructure for visitors. Part of the Reserve is designated for sustainable cattle ranching for species and habitat conservation.
Acquired in 2018, the Laney Rickman Reserve, formerly the Esperancita Ranch, is the second Blue-throated Macaw reserve created by Armonía. This reserve is protecting vitally important breeding habitat for the Southern subpopulation of the Blue-throated Macaw. Now that Armonía owns the land, an overarching reserve management plan is being formulated.
Bird Endowment focuses our fundraising efforts on the Laney Rickman Reserve with our Nido Adoptivo annual nest box sponsorship campaign. To-date, an incredible number of 128 Blue-throated Macaw chicks have fledged from the nest boxes since the project was started by Laney Rickman in 2007. This number of successful fledges is truly significant, comprising about 25% of the total wild population.