After Maria, biologists weigh how to save Puerto Rican parrot

About half the Puerto Rican amazon parrot population was wiped out by Hurricane Maria.
©Pablo Torres/USFWS

Scientists plan to meet this month to determine how to help recover endangered Puerto Rican amazon parrots (Amazona vittata). The parrots numbered more than 1 million in the 1800s, but they have dwindled due to forest clearing, and last year’s Hurricane Maria dealt the birds a further blow. More than half their population disappeared after the storm, the Associated Press reports, including all but two of the 56 wild birds in the El Yunque forest and more than half the 134 wild parrots in the Rio Abajo forest. More than 460 birds remain in captivity at breeding centers but have not been released since the hurricane. Scientists plan to release birds next year, but they are trying to determine the best approach since so few birds exist in the wild for them to interact with.

Read the Associated Press story here.