Just 4 short years ago, one of our most active members of the Titi Conservation Alliance began another ambitious conservation project with similar aims: to protect and extend the habitat of the Ara macao, better known as the Scarlet Macaw! Gaia Hotel and Resort started its program to raise and release these magnificent birds, with the primary goal of connecting the large colony of macaws located around Carara National Park north of Manuel Antonio with the other major colony located in the Osa Peninsula of southern Costa Rica. The program, managed by wildlife veterinarian Msc. Ana Maria Torres, has gradually released 39 “lapas” to date with plans to continue releases during the coming years.
The Lapas and Titis have much in common and thus make a truly interesting Alliance! They inhabit and utilize similar trees found in the rain forest, such as the Gallinazo, the Espavel, and Mango trees. Both species are highly sociable and therefore are favorites with tourists who visit the area. Sadly both species have suffered greatly from habitat loss and illegal poaching, which we are trying to reverse through education programs and habitat reforestation.
While we do indeed enjoy seeing both the Macaws and Titi monkeys more and more, the wildlife experts do request one thing from us however: PLEASE DON’T FEED THE LAPAS! As with Titi monkeys, many of the foods we give them are not the natural diet and can cause them severe health problems for the animal. Please, please enjoy them, take plenty of pictures but no feeding!
Join us in saluting the outstanding efforts of Gaia Hotel and Resort and the other member businesses of the Titi Conservation Alliance and the Ara Macao Association (ASOMACAO), who are working hard to protect the incredible biodiversity around us. For more info about these wonderful efforts, visit www.aramacaocostarica.org and www.monotiti.org.