Endangered Parrots moved to shelter as Hurricane Maria batters Puerto Rico

Credit: Tanya Martinez

For the second time in two weeks, the biologists in Puerto Rico are scrambling to protect the endangered Puerto Rican parrot from intense Hurricane winds.

Enjoy the Silence first reported on the protective measures when Hurricane Irma passed over Puerto Rico about two weeks ago.

Late Monday night, biologist Tanya Martinez tweeted about the second move.

The Puerto Rican Parrot, also known as the Puerto Rican Amazon is the only remaining native parrot in Puerto Rico. The parrot has been listed as critically endangered since 1994. In 2012, the total estimated population was 58–80 individuals in the wild and over 300 in captivity.

Back in 1989, Hurricane Hugo devastated the parrot population, destroying more than half the parrots in the Puerto Rican wild. By the end of 1989, just a small population of 22 birds remained.

“FYI I’m safe and secure and ready to ride out the storm. I’ll likely be MIA for a few days. Stay safe & please take care of each other.”

-Tanya Marinez

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Biologist work to protect the 175 endangered parrots from Hurricane Maria. Credit: Tanya Martinez
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The Iguaca aviary was completed in 2007 to protect the species through captive breeding and egg fertility, but it’s not sufficient to protect the endangered birds from a strong hurricane.

Maria and Puerto Rico

With 160 mph winds, Hurricane Maria has already done extreme damage to neighboring Dominica. The storm is now aiming for Puerto Rico and it’s forecast to hit the island with 155 mph winds Wednesday morning.

Puerto Rico experience massive power outages from Hurricane Irma, but the eye of Irma passed about 30 miles north of the island, sparing the U.S. Territory from widespread damage.

Late Tuesday evening Martinez tweeted an update

 

Around 10:30 ET Tuesday night Martinez said, “FYI I’m safe and secure and ready to ride out the storm. I’ll likely be MIA for a few days. Stay safe & please take care of each other.”

All rights reserved. Enjoy The Silence 2017

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