Aug. 15 - A breeding program in Mexico makes its third release of macaws into the wild this year as part of its effort to revive the country's struggling population of scarlet macaws. Tara Cleary reports.
Ten red macaws take flight into the wild in the Palenque National Park in southern Mexico. The release is part of a captive breeding program which aims to reunite two parrot communities. Seventy years of illegal trade and habitat destruction devastated and divided a large macaw population into two separate groups hundreds of miles apart. Now, the Aluxes Ecological Reserve and the Xcaret Ecological Park are working together to increase and unite the exotic birds' populations and to educate locals. SOUNDBITE: Patorcionio Gonzalez, honorary president of Aluxes Ecological Park, saying (Spanish): "This year, within a month, we'll start a bird identification training course with members of all the communities, so that they are able to distinguish between one bird and another." Patorcionio Gonzalez from Aluxes Ecological Park says they also want to create a guide to attract birdwatchers to the area. The parks aim to continue the release program until 2015, freeing a total of 200 birds. The number of macaws released into the wild this year is 37. Though this bird seems a little reluctant to leave.