Scarlet Macaw

Scarlet Macaw

(Lapa roja) Ara macao

This pair of Scarlet Macaws were just starting to develop feathers when they arrived at Monkey Park in 2001. They were brought here by MINAET after being seized in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica.

For decades parrot ‘fanciers’ in Europe and North America have desired them for pets, taking them from the wild and cutting down nesting trees from which chicks are stolen and sold into local and international pet trades. Combined with deforestation, this trade has dramatically reduced Scarlet Macaw populations, once abundant throughout Costa Rican lowlands one hundred years ago. Today they are considered an endangered species.

Currently, these parrot species are highly protected in Costa Rica. As with all parrots, it is illegal to keep them as pets. Furthermore, tough legislation punishes any person caught trafficking any native wildlife with stiff jail sentences.