Historic: Macaws reintroduced to Ibera Park

By Nancy Moore

After a century-long absence from Corrientes Province in Northeast Argentina, five juvenile red-and-green macaws were released this past June 28th into the protected wetlands of Iberá.
It's the second population reintroduced by Rewilding Argentina, a strategic partner of Tompkins Conservation. This group of five was raised in captivity by Ecoparque Buenos Aires and Fundación Temaikén and underwent arduous training with Rewilding Argentina in order to survive in the wild. The training is no small matter: captive-born macaws must acquire flying skills, learn how to evade predators and adapt to the new diet they will find in the wild. The macaws wear a small radio transmitter that monitors their movements to ensure their adaptation. 
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Though http://www.proyectoibera.org/en/english/informacion_parque_nacional.htm" target="_blank">Iberá Park is teeming with wildlife, the macaws are seen as crucial to saving the dwindling Paraná forest, since as seed dispersers, the species helps to regenerate native forest. The macaws, known for their charisma and vibrant colors, are a key attraction for nature-based tourism, which is part of a new sustainable economic model for the development of local communities.
“In the context of the climate crisis and the ecological crisis, tourism based on the conservation of ecosystems is being positioned as a new production model capable of sustaining itself over time,” says Marisi López, coordinator of the Iberá Project. The macaws are just one of ten native species that Rewilding Argentina is in the process of bringing back to the Iberá wetlands; others species include top predators like the jaguar and giant river otter. 
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