A great donation for the project!

A brand new inspection camera was donated to the project! The donation was made by two of our collaborators, Taiana Costa and David Perpinan. This inspection camera will be will be great for the project, as it will allow us to inspect cavities with small apertures, deep cavities and also cavities in termite nests! The small camera we have is not small enough to enter such small spaces, and some of the cavities are so deep that the bottom of it is not reachable for inspection.

Our donated inspection camera!

Our donated inspection camera!

It will be so useful for our field work!

It will be so useful for our field work!

 

The camera is on its way and should arrive to us next month. We can’t wait!! Thank you very much Taiana and David! One less item in our Wish List!

Ah, and check out the video of a sand martin nest made with our donated camera!

Hemoparasites in psittacines

The Blue-fronted Amazon Project collaborates with several scientific studies. We are currently working in collaboration with Dr. Juan F. Masello, from the Department of Animal Ecology & Systematics - University of Giessen, in Germany. He is studying the prevalence of several hemoparasites in wild Psittaciformes from all over the world. What a great work!

Hemoparasites are organisms that live in the blood of animals. They may apply significant ecological and evolutionary pressures on their hosts. The parasite load in a bird can be affected by several factors, from immune defense, to host age and season.

We have collected and sent him blood samples from wild Blue-fronted Amazons. Now, we must wait to see what he finds in these samples, and what he can conclude from this amazing study.

Blood samples in a special card (Image: Dr. Juan F. Masello)

Blood samples in a special card (Image: Dr. Juan F. Masello)

Do you also work in a project and believe we could work together? So send us an email, and we will be willing to discuss it with you!

 

The Blue-fronted Amazon Project in Scotland!

Yesterday, David Perpinan, one of our collaborators, gave a talk about the life history of the Blue-fronted Amazon, featuring our Project! The talk was part of the Parrot Evening, an evening of small talks directed to the clients of the Exotic Animals and Wildlife Service - Hospital for Small Animals, University of Edinburgh. David is a veterinarian with large experience on exotic animal medicine, and a lecturer at The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies. David’s talk was focused on the importance of studying animals in their natural state and how much we can learn from them.

David Perpinan giving a talk about the life history of the Blue-fronted Amazon (Image: Taiana Costa)

David Perpinan giving a talk about the life history of the Blue-fronted Amazon (Image: Taiana Costa)

David giving the talk, showing that about 30% of the tree cavities used as nest are in dead trees (Image: Taiana Costa)

David giving the talk, showing that about 30% of the tree cavities used as nest are in dead trees (Image: Taiana Costa)

End of the talk, with the link for our blog!

End of the talk, with the link for our blog!

It is great to know that our project is being shown overseas! Thank you very much David! :)

The ParaTudo Project

The ParaTudo Project is one of the many projects of the Neotropica Foundation of Brazil. This project is a network of “ecommunicators” (ecology + communicators) in the Pantanal and Serra da Bodoquena. This project aims to contribute to the production of knowledge and raise visibility of these regions. Under the themes of environment and citizenship, free journalism and technology workshops are offered to 100 local people from Bodoquena, Bonito, Corumba, Miranda and Porto Murtinho (20 people from each town). As the project evolves and the participants learn the communication techniques and are stimulated to reflect about the local actualities, a virtual net will be created to allow the communication between these towns.

ParaTudo Logo

The Blue-fronted Amazon Project’s team also world directly with the ParaTudo Project. And by working together, we get stronger  to fight for the conservation of the Pantanal and its fauna (including our parrots!). 

The second workshop of the ParaTudo Project was held in February 2014, and Eduardo Pugurier, from the project’s partner O Eco, wrote a very nice chronicle about it. Check it out!

PS: Paratudo (literally translates to “for everything”) is also how the locals call a tree (Tabebuia aura) whose bark is used as a popular medicine for many illnesses.

Blue-fronted Amazon Project on Facebook!

Hi all!

I want to let you know that the Blue-fronted Amazon Project has also a Facebook account, where you can find all the news in Portuguese! Make sure to check it out (and like it!)! :)

Screen Shot Facebook

It is now time to “give a hand” to the parrots!

The reproductive season of the blue-fronted amazon and other psittacine birds at the Pantanal is about to begin! With this in mind, Vandir and Veronica went to Pantanal for another field trip. They inspected every nest cavity recorded over the 18 years of project, and maintenance was provided for all the cavities that needed some repair done, such as flooded ones, with eggshells and debris, or with little or no substrate. While proper water drainage was provided for some, woodchip was added to others. This way we ensure a nice nest bedding for the future couple to lay their eggs and raise the chicks. It also helps us to monitor the cavities and follow up the reproductive success of these species.

Vandir getting ready to inspect a tree cavity (Image: Verónica Ramirez)

Vandir getting ready to inspect a tree cavity (Image: Verónica Ramirez)

BEFORE: Cavity with no substrate. (Image: PPV Archive)

BEFORE: Cavity with no substrate. (Image: PPV Archive)

AFTER: Wood chips were added to the cavity. (Image: PPV Archive)

AFTER: Wood chips were added to the cavity. (Image: PPV Archive)

Dirty nest cavity, with eggshells and debris (Image: PPV Archive)

Dirty nest cavity, with eggshells and debris (Image: PPV Archive)

Vandir adding substrate to a tree cavity (Image: Verónica Ramirez)

Vandir adding substrate to a tree cavity (Image: Verónica Ramirez)

Well, as you see, we keep doing our job of helping out the parrots! If you also want to give them a hand, please let us know! They will surely be grateful!!

 

"Dá-o-pé" tá com nada! Dê uma mão!

“Dá-o-pé” tá com nada! Dê uma mão!

Pantanal is in full flood!

We just got back from a field trip to the Pantanal. It is wet season and, as expected, the Pantanal is completely flooded. And it is also even more spectacular, showing up all its biodiversity! With the torrential summer rains, the rivers are in full flood and fishes now swim over grass fields and roads covered in water.

Vandir monitoring some parrot behavior (Image: Verónica Ramirez)

Vandir monitoring some parrot behavior (Image: Verónica Ramirez)

The high water reached areas that are usually dry at this time of the year, making them hard to access even in a 4×4 vehicle.

Vandir trying to keep himself dry while checking a nest (Image: Verónica Ramirez)

Vandir trying to keep himself dry while checking a nest (Image: Verónica Ramirez)

Fingers-crossed that we will not get stuck! (Image: Verónica Ramirez)

Fingers-crossed that we will not get stuck! (Image: Verónica Ramirez)

Some of the places we used to go to monitor the parrots were just impossible to be reached this time. For the pantaneiros and some animals, this is a hard time in the Pantanal; but on the other hand, it is also a period of food abundance for the parrots and other animals.

A horse grazing on flooded grasslands (Image: Verónica Ramirez)

A horse grazing on flooded grasslands (Image: Verónica Ramirez)

The biologist Verónica Ramirez in a flooded Pantanal! (Image: Verónica Ramirez)

The biologist Verónica Ramirez in a flooded Pantanal! (Image: Verónica Ramirez)

During this field trip, Vandir and Veronica monitored the feeding habitats, roosting sites and reproductive behavior of Blue-fronted Amazon and also other psittacine species. Many blue-fronted amazons, Nanday Parakeet (Aratinga nenday) and Yellow-collared Macaw (Propyrrhura auricollis) were observed feeding on flowers of Pink trumpet, fruits of angico and other vegetable species. We also saw Peach-fronted Parakeet (Aratinga aurea) and blue-fronted amazons getting ready for the breading season and preparing some cavities to be used as nests.

Blue-fronted Amazon (Amazona aestiva) (Image: Verónica Ramirez)

Blue-fronted Amazon (Amazona aestiva) (Image: Verónica Ramirez)

Nanday Parakeet (Aratinga nenday) eating flowers of pink trumpet (Image: Verónica Ramirez)

Nanday Parakeet (Aratinga nenday) eating flowers of pink trumpet (Image: Verónica Ramirez)

Blue-fronted Amazon eating the fruit of angico (Image: Verónica Ramirez)

Blue-fronted Amazon eating the fruit of angico (Image: Verónica Ramirez)

Nanday Parakeets (Aratinga nenday) (Image: Verónica Ramirez)

Nanday Parakeets (Aratinga nenday) (Image: Verónica Ramirez)

Peach-fronted Parakeet (Aratinga aurea) (Image: Verónica Ramirez)

Peach-fronted Parakeet (Aratinga aurea) (Image: Verónica Ramirez)

Blue-crowned Parakeet (Thectocercus acuticaudatus) (Image: Verónica Ramirez)

Blue-crowned Parakeet (Thectocercus acuticaudatus) (Image: Verónica Ramirez)

Well, and that is how Pantanal goes on, with its wet and (brief!) dry seasons, completing the cycle that maintains its natural beauty and rich biological diversity!

The wonderful Pantanal (Image: Verónica Ramirez)

The wonderful Pantanal (Image: Verónica Ramirez)

HOW YOU CAN HELP

There are many ways you can help the Blue-fronted Amazon Project! Check them out:

SPREAD THE WORD!

You can easily use the social media to spread the word and help us promote the Blue-fronted Amazon Project! You can share our posts in your Facebook account and ‘like’ and ‘share’ our posts at the Neotropica Foundation of Brazil’s Facebook page.

 

DONATE!

You can also support the Blue-fronted Amazon by making a donation! All the funds will be fully reverted to the project and the parrots. Even a small amount can make a big difference! To make a donation, please contact us for more information at: glaucia@ fundacaoneotropica.org.br

 

OUR WISH LIST!

If you prefer, you can make an online purchase of an item that we are in need of, and have it sent to us! We are always in need of many things, from simple batteries to rappel material. How does it work? Just follow these simple steps:

1)    Check out our WISH LIST

2)    Purchase it online

3)    Use the following delivery address:

Fundação Neotropica do Brasil. Rua 2 de Outubro, 165, CEP: 79290-000. Bonito, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brasil.

Our wish list is continuing changing as our needs change. We will keep it updated!

 

GET A BLUE-FRONTED AMAZON PROJECT PRODUCT!

Would you like to have a nice Blue-fronted Amazon Project product while helping out the conservation of the parrots in Pantanal?! You can get it for you or for a friend! There are two products that you can purchase, and whose profit will be reverted to the Project. You can purchase them online from ECOloja.

One of them is our high-quality T-SHIRT made of 50% recycled polyester (obtained from PET bottles, those used for sodas and other drinks!) and 50% cotton. The T-shirt is available in adult format, or as a more fitted shape (female format). These T-shirts can also be acquired directly from the Neotropica Foundation of Brazil (please contact us for more information at: glaucia@ fundacaoneotropica.org.br)

T-shirt of the Blue-fronted Amazon Project

T-shirt of the Blue-fronted Amazon Project (Image: ECOloja)

Detail of the T-shirt (Images: ECOloja)

Detail of the T-shirt (Image: ECOloja)

The other product is this very nice SILVER RING that resembles a bird legring! The silver to make the ring is obtained from recycled x-ray film! This technique contributes towards the preservation of the silver natural resources and prevents silver residues to contaminate the soil and groundwater.

Silver ring of the Blue-fronted Amazon Project (Image: ECOloja)

Silver ring of the Blue-fronted Amazon Project (Image: ECOloja)

Silver ring of the Blue-fronted Amazon Project (Image: ECOloja)
Silver ring of the Blue-fronted Amazon Project (Image: ECOloja)

We will keep updating this post frequently, as more Blue-fronted Amazon Project products are created and ways to help are added! :)

Meet our headquarters and staff – Neotropica Foundation of Brazil

Dear followers, as you already know, the Blue-Fronted Amazon Project is run by the NEOTROPICA FOUNDATION OF BRAZIL (NFB); a non-profit non-governmental organization. But what you may not know is that NFB is physically located in a gorgeous small city, famous for its natural resources. This city is called BONITO (which literally means beautiful in Portuguese!) and is located about 300 km from Campo Grande, the capital of Mato Grosso do Sul state.

Neotropica Headquarters - Entrance (Image: NFB Archive)

Neotropica Headquarters – Entrance (Image: NFB Archive)

Neotropica Headquarters (Image: NFB Archive)

Neotropica Headquarters (Image: NFB Archive)

Neotropica Headquarters  (Image: NFB Archive)

Neotropica Headquarters (Image: NFB Archive)

Neotropica Headquarters  (Image: NFB Archive)

Neotropica Headquarters (Image: NFB Archive)

BONITO comprises of an area of 4,934 km² and its population is slightly over 17 thousand. It is a famous tourist destination, especially to those like ecotourism and willing to enjoy the many rivers, waterfalls, and caves in the zone. Snorkeling, diving, hiking and rapelling are some of the most requested tours. But Bonito is also a very special spot for birdwatchers (and you can also to see many other wild animals, such as anteaters!). Tourists from all over the word come to Bonito to see its marvelous avian fauna.

Gláucia Seixas

Gláucia Seixas, the executive director of the NFB (Image: Taiana Costa)

The staff at the Neotropica Foundation of Brazil headquarters is composed of 8 people. You all know GLÁUCIA SEIXAS, the founder and head of the Blue-fronted Amazon Project. She is always on the move, between meetings and field trips. She graduated in zootechny, and has a master and a PhD in Ecology and Conservation. She is the Executive Director of the NFB.

Cecília Brosig

Cecília Brosig (Image: Anne Galvão)

CECÍLIA BROSIG is a biologist and has specialized in translation. She has worked abroad during 4 years (in the US and Latin America), with group training and leadership, environmental education and research. She has experience on developing and implementing educational materials, training on environment and sustainability, and planning and management of protected areas. She has joined the NFB team in August 2012 where she works with many conservation projects at Serra da Bodoquena and Pantanal of Mato Grosso do Sul.

Giana

Giana Alves Corrêa (Image: João Albuquerque)

GIANA ALVES CORRÊA has graduated on business administration. She has worked for 5 years in public institutions, doing all kinds of administrative work (from contracts to budget management). She also worked for 2 years with budget management in the private sector. Since 2009 she works at the administrative department of the NFB.

Mariza

Mariza Silva (Image: Anne Galvão)

MARIZA SILVA is a biologist, with a Master in Local Development: Environment and Tourism, and a PhD in Environment and Regional Development from the Universidade Anhanguera-UNIDERP. She has large experience on research for nature conservation and social articulation, with emphasis on conflict negotiation and strategic planning, even in international actions. Mariza is fluent in English, Spanish and French.

Samuel Duleba (Image: Márcio Kleber Urt)

Samuel Duleba (Image: Márcio Kleber Urt)

SAMUEL DULEBA is a biologist specialized in Conservation Biology and Wildlife Management from the PUC-PR and with a Master in Animal Biology from the UFMS. He worked for seven years as a manager at Units of Conservation (RPPN – Private Reserve of Natural Heritage) implementing management actions, developing environmental education activities and promoting the recovery of exploited areas. He has experience on census of reptiles and amphibians populations and on planning and managing protected regions. He joined the NFB in August 2013 where he works with many conservation projects at the Serra da Bodoquena and the Pantanal of Mato Grosso do Sul.

Verónica Ramirez

Verónica Ramirez (Image: Verónica Ramirez)

VERÓNICA RAMIREZ is a biologist, who graduated from the Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do Sul (UFMS, Campo Grande – MS). She has worked with us at the Blue-fronted Project during four years, either as an intern or an externship. Furthermore, Verónica specialized in Didactics in Higher Education, at the Universidad Nacional de Asunción, in Paraguay. She has lectured at the medicine, nursery and pharmacy courses at the Universidad Politecnica y Artistica del Paraguay (UPAP) for two years. She has experience in ornithology and nest entomofauna.

Besides running the Blue-fronted Amazon Project, the Neotropica Foundation of Brazil is also responsible for many other projects related to nature conservation. If you want to learn more about all the projects, please check the NFB web or the NFB facebook page.

And if you happen to come to Bonito, do not hesitate to pay us a visit at our headquarters!!

The breeding season 2013

The breeding season has finished for now. We had a lot of work and want to share with you some of our results.

Between August and December 2013 we have concentrated our efforts on the reproductive biology and ecology on the Blue-fronted Amazon and other local psittacine species (all but macaws), at the Caiman Ecological Refuge and the Novo Horizonte farm (both in Miranda, Pantanal). The specific objectives of the Blue-fronted Amazon Project were: to characterize nests and nesting habitats; to estimate the size and survival rate of the offspring; and to close monitor the parental care with eggs and nestlings of Blue-fronted Amazon and other local psittacine species (all but macaws).

Field work

Field work! Vandir is checking a nest. (Image: Lucia Monteiro/NFB archive)

Our results: we have monitored 72 tree cavities, including some previously used by Blue-fronted Amazons. From those, 49 (68%) had signs of nesting activity, such as one or two adults in the cavity, the presence of feathers in the cavity, and scratching marks on the entrance. Thirty-one (43%) of the cavities were actually used as nests, as shown by the presence of at least one egg and/or chick. The nests were in 16 different tree species, from 9 families, with different dimensions, and the cavities had variable characteristics. The oviposture and incubation occurred between August and September. A total of 53 eggs were laid; 35 (66%) of them hatched, while 18 (34%) were either predated or did not hatch. The clutch size varied from one to tree eggs per nest, but 2- and 3-egg clutches were much more frequent. The eggs hatched between September and October, and nestlings varied from 1 to 3 (although 2 were more common). From the 35 nestlings that hatched, 25 of them fledged and 10 died (mortality rate among nestling was 28,5%).

Parents in the nest

A couple in the nest. (Image: Vandir Silva/NFB archive)

We have also done many environmental education activities in 2013, aiming to raise awareness among kids and teens about the illegal animal trade, through out puppet theatre and the project E-CONS (Empreendedores da Conservação – SPVS-HSBC). And we have shared all our activities and results with local communities, general public and the scientific community.

A parrot!

A parrot! Drawing by Anne Galvão. (Image: Blue-fronted Amazon Project)

We want to thank everyone who worked hard with us in 2013: Anne Zugman, Anne Galvão, Cecília Brosig, Danilo Ferreira Seixas (in memorian), Giana Alves Correa, João Augusto Albuquerque Soares, Marja Zattoni Milano, Mariza Silva, Vandir Fernandes da Silva, and Victor do Nascimento.

We also want to express our most sincere gratitude to our partners and collaborators: Parque das Aves – Foz do Iguaçu – PR; Refúgio Ecológico Caiman – Miranda – MS; Programa Econs – SPVS/HSBC – Curitiba – PR; Alouatta Criações – Corumbá – MS; Companhia das Artes – Campo Grande – MS; and Centro de Reabilitação de Animais Silvestres (CRAS)/Instituto de Meio Ambiente de Mato Grosso do Sul (IMASUL) – Campo Grande – MS.