Washington Park News

Protection of Lora Parrot shows positive results

Kralendijk, Feb. 3, 2015.
During the annual Lora (parrot) count more than 1,000 individuals have been observed. Judging from trends over the last 10 years, we could tentatively draw the conclusion that the protection of the endangered native parrot has positive results. The census of 2015 took place last Saturday.

The number of counted Lora’s only gives an indication of the minimum number of birds on the island. Not all lora’s were counted. Several participants reported that they heard more Lora’s in the area than they counted. The past two years about 850 Lora’s were counted.

In the Washington Slagbaai National Park about the same number of Lora’s were counted as last year: nearly 300. As previous surveys have shown, most parrots are therefore outside the park. This year that was nearly 800. There are places where every year the Lora’s are counted, but the distribution of Lora’s on the island may differ each time. The erratic behavior of the parrots makes the count a challenge to the participating volunteers.

STINAPA staff counted inside the Washington Slagbaai Park. Outside the park, about 25 volunteers counted Lora’s. The Lora’s are counted in a simultaneous count. That means early Saturday morning before dawn, dozens of volunteers set out to count the Lora’s at the same time in different locations all over the island. Each Lora flying up is counted once. By counting simultaneously on all those different places, the organizers are trying to get a picture of the minimum number of Lora on the island. The census is important for nature conservation of Bonaire.

Not everyone is happy with the parrots. When Lora’s are hungry, they love to plunder fruit trees. Much to the chagrin of the owners. To ensure that parrots can find more food in nature, reforestation projects have been set up and submitted to the government for funding.

The Lora census is held every year on the last Saturday in January. The count of this year was the twentieth time and it was organized by the Department of Environment and Nature of the public body of Bonaire, STINAPA Bonaire and Echo Foundation.