The Burrowing Parrot or Burrowing Parakeet (Cyanoliseus patagonus) of South America, is a widespread and often very abundant species. So abundant that it is often considered a pest, and shot. But could it be endangered?
Some species may need a critical mass in order to survive: once the numbers drop below a certain level, then the population will spiral to extinction. The Carolina Parakeet of North America and the Passenger Pigeon were once very abundant birds, but following presecution both species are now extinct.
Similarly, Burrowing Parrots once nested in huge colonies, all over Patagonia, but these large colonies are very vulnerable to persecution, and are increasingly rare.
However, the World Land Trust is hoping that Burrowing Parrots will breed on the Ranch of Hopes (Estancia La Esperanza) near the Valdes Peninsula in Patagonia. This 15,000 acre reserve was acquired with funds raised by the WLT and – unlike much of the coastal steppe habitat – it contains numerous gullies and canyons, which provide ideal habitat for Burrowing Parrots to build their nests.
Conservation is not just about saving species teetering on the brink of extinction – it is also about wildlife in its natural abundance. For this reason it is imperative that significant areas of natural habitats are conserved in a way that allows wildlife to live alongside people. The World Land Trust has been pioneering this approach for over 10 years: visit www.worldlandtrust.org and help save some Patagonian steppe, for the burrowing parrots, and dozens of other species.
More information on the Burrowing Parrot
This is an extract from a World Land Trust press release (October 2002). Read the full text here: Is the Burrowing Parrot Endangered?
More information on the Coastal Steppe project in Patagonia.