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Ara Project - Macaw Breeding and Release Center

Ara Project - Macaw Breeding and Release Center

Quick Facts

  • Visiting Hours : 3 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • Admission : $20 per adult, $10 per child, suggested donation
  • Telephone : 8389-5811
  • Fact : 64 projects similar to the one in Islita are across the world

At first, seeing Precious feels like a dream because her feathers are so colorful, you'd think she came straight out of a National Geographic magazine. But once you introduce yourself and she squawks a friendly "hello" in return, you'll quickly realize the exotic great green macaw thrives on friendship and love just as much as you do.

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As you gaze at their beauty, take in the sheer magnificence of those coveted rainbow feathers on one of the world's most endangered species — dwindling to just thousands worldwide. Then, in a spectacle unlike any other, you'll see the sky flash crimson as whole flocks of scarlet macaws fly overhead to eat a medley of almonds, melina and carao fruits from designated feeding pails hung on Guanacaste trees — without risking their lives to gather food from the ground.

Listen as the macaws squawk happily, as you move toward the captive breeding enclosures higher up the hill.  Keep your distance from the enclosures; careful not to get too close to the sexually mature macaws (around 6-years-old) mingling to fall in love and reproduce with their one and only true soul mate.

Have a seat at the hilltop education center, lined with posters and flyers discussing details of the endangerment of the macaws, that have lost 80 percent of their natural habitat to manmade developments, watch a puppet show and learn how you can get involved with the cause.

About the Ara Project Breeding Center and Release Site in Islita

  • Rescuing and rehabilitating injured, confiscated or abandoned macaws
  • Releasing strong, independent macaws to the wild around Islita (scarlet) and Manzanillo (great green)
  • Captive breeding of macaws that are unable to readapt to the wild
    • Providing courtship and safe nesting space during captive breeding
    • Nourishing and strengthening two weakest baby macaws (in nests of three) that may not survive otherwise
  • Reforesting carao, melina, wild almond, Guanacaste and gumbo-limbo (known locally as Naked Indian) trees to increase food supplies for macaws in the wild
  • Keeping macaws that cannot readapt to nature as educational ambassadors
  • Educating the community and local school children, via puppet shows and lectures, to become more aware of the lives, habitat and endangerment of macaws
  • Spreading the word about how to get involved with repopulating the world with precious macaws

Ara Project - Macaw Breeding and Release Center in Pictures

Wildlife in Ara Project - Macaw Breeding and Release Center