Twenty years ago, ProAves had a dream to save the Yellow-eared Parrot (Ognorhynchus icterotis) from the brink of extinction. For more than twenty years, ProAves has been leading the community-centered campaign Reconcile with Nature in local communities. This campaign aims to raise awareness about the Quindio Wax palm (Ceroxylon quindiuense), which is the habitat and nesting site of the Yellow-eared Parrot. Thanks to ProAves’ conservation efforts, the Yellow-eared Parrot has been saved from near extinction.
This year, the Reconcile with Nature campaign was carried out through various virtual and in-person activities, all of which were linked to environmental education initiatives.
This past Palm Sunday in Jardín, Antioquia, community members had the opportunity to talk with members of ProAves at their environmental education booth located in the town’s central square. Families were able to educate themselves about environmentally-friendly habits, especially surrounding festivities for Palm Sunday. ProAves handed out educational materials such as posters, stickers, and flyers. In addition, ProAves handed out Quindio Wax Palm seedlings to community members who were interested in planting them and who had farms suitable for the wax palm to thrive.
At ProAves’ booth children were able to learn about conserving the Yellow-eared Parrot and Quindio Wax Palm through various interactive games and painting activities.
ProAves’ environmental education bus, the RanaChiva, traveled across the country from Santander to Antioquia to join this special event. Children and their families entered the bus and learned to protect three species threatened by extinction: Lynch’s Colombian tree frog (Hyloscirtus lynchi), the bird Colombian Mountain grackle (Macroagelaius subalaris), and the Colombian oak (Quercus humboldtii). Children, teens, and adults alike loved the immersive bus experience and hopped on board ProAves’ mission to bring conservation education to all parts of Colombia.
The Reconcile with Nature campaign is growing and expanding each year. Through this campaign, ProAves has also been able to raise awareness about preserving and caring for the Quindio Wax Palm in the town Cajamarca in the department of Tolima.
This campaign was also linked to the 3rd National Census of the Yellow-eared Parrot, which seeks to count this species annually. In 1998, the Yellow-eared Parrot was on the verge of extinction with just 81 parrots left. Thanks to conservation efforts by ProAves, the species has managed to increase its population. Collecting data about the parrot is key to the care and conservation of this species, which is also a national symbol of Colombia’s biodiversity.
We, the team at ProAves, would like to thank everyone, individuals and communities, who join conservation campaigns like this one that help to protect critical fauna and flora and enable us all to live in harmony with nature.