Habitat Restoration Project: Objective Fundraising Goal: $40,000
Bird Endowment and partner Asociación Armonía are taking action to restore the savanna/forest ecosystem in the recently enlarged Laney Rickman Blue-throated Macaw Reserve in the Beni Savanna in Bolivia. Now that Armonía owns this important piece of land, steps can be made to restore the habitat and bring it back to its natural state for the IUCN Critically Endangered Blue-throated Macaw and other species to thrive.
The Laney Rickman Reserve protects the most significant breeding grounds for the Blue-throated Macaw. The survival success of the Blue-throated Macaw in the wild is highly dependent on the availability of large trees. Traditionally, these rare birds prefer to make their nests in empty cavities of large mature trees. However, over 150 years of land use in the Beni Savanna, this bird’s native range, has cleared almost all these older-growth trees, reducing the availability of suitable nest areas for the Blue-throated Macaw.
The long-term objective of the habitat restoration is to achieve a restored forest to its most natural state possible, a diverse ecosystem that includes old growth trees and other over harvested species that will provide habitat, food and nesting cavities for the Blue-throated Macaw and other threatened wildlife.
In this video, Bennett Hennessey with Armonía shows motacú palm tree regeneration at the Barba Azul Nature Reserve, Beni, Bolivia. "Cattle ranching in the Beni Savannas has destroyed many motacú palm islands, where all the trees are 60-70 years old, with almost no regeneration. If this continues, in 100 years the Beni savanna will have only 10% of its motacú palm trees." Part of the Habitat Restoration Project on the Laney Rickman Reserve includes restoring motacú palm trees the fruit of which is the primary food source for the Blue-throated Macaw.
Habitat Restoration: Overview and Timeline
Budgeted expenses include costs for Armonía personnel Tjalle Boorsma, Project Supervisor and Luz Mercado, Project Lead plus a field assistant and a contracted botanist. This critical project will require 17 months to conduct the activities of surveying, reforestation and monitoring during two dry and one rainy season.
The project will begin with baseline surveys to assess the current state of the habitat, including the area of the new land purchase (to be announced soon). Baseline data and evaluation of the remnant forested areas where the Blue-throated Macaw breed will assess the different states of habitat degradation. The surveys will document current forest diversity, structure, and composition of the remnant forest, an important first step in understanding the ecosystem and what needs to be done to restore the habitat. Data collected will serve as a baseline for the reserve management plan as well as guide the restoration efforts including a long-term Reforestation and Monitoring Plan.
After completing the baseline surveys, activities include restoring motacú palm trees Attalea phalerata, the fruit of which is the primary food source for the Blue-throated Macaw. Subsequently, Armonía will construct firebreaks to protect the restored areas. In addition, workshops will be conducted on conservation and ecological restoration at the Laney Rickman Reserve engaging landowners, cattle ranchers, local government technicians and university students.
Based on the results of the surveys, other native tree species considered for forest enrichment include the IUCN Vulnerable Big-leaf mahogany tree Swietenia macrophylla, the fruit-bearing evergreen tree Calophyllum brasiliense, the flowering tree Dypterix odorata that bears tonka beans, the Spanish cedar Cedrela odorata, and Ormosia spp. trees which produce striking black and red seeds.
$35,000 has been raised as of 1/30/23,
thanks to these generous donors:
Peter Osvaldik / Barba Azul USA
Lion Country Safari
"Chicken Thoughts" on Instagram
Ginger and Jim Payant
Bird Endowment's"Party in Parrot-dise"
at NPRPF Parrot Festival, Jan. 2022
Pat Palmer Foundation
Raleigh Durham Caged Bird Society
Bird Endowment's "Blues Bash"
at American Fed. of Aviculture Conf., Aug.2022
Chirp Merch, Kim and Geoff Hatch
Sedgwick County Zoo
Fresno Chafee Zoo
Donations may be made ONLINE
or by CHECK made out to
'Bird Endowment' and mailed to:
(on memo line write: Habitat Restoration Project)
1707 1/2 Post Oak Blvd. #194
Houston, Texas 77056
Questions? Please contact:
Bennett Hennessey at
or Dorothy Paterson at