Text Box: The Buffon’s Project 
is a non profit conservation program  to help save the species from extinction through propagation and education. 
If you have any Buffon’s that you would like to donate to  the project, please contact us as we are always looking for new bloodlines. This macaw species is near extinction in the wild and we want to increase the DNA base that we have to work with.

A Conservation Program

The Buffon’s Project

Species at our Facility

Sala IV gives protection to a tree that parrots love

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The nation's high court has prohibited the cutting of

a certain species of tree, in part because a highly

endangered type of parrot uses the tree almost

exclusively for nesting.

    With one decision, the Sala IV constitutional court

protected the mountain almond tree and the great

green macaw, specifically in a sprawling area in

northern Costa Rica. However, the court also

ordered the Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía to


The Almendro Tree typifies a healthy habitat for the Great Green Macaw. Photo by Rainforest Biodiversity Group

Endangered Species

    The Buffon’s Macaw, also known as the Great Green Macaw (Ara ambiguus), or Lapa Verde as it is called in Spanish, is a Central American parrot that has also suffered due to loss of habitat. The Great Green Macaw is internationally endangered and red listed by CITES (Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species). It is also identified as a species “most in need of protection” by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation).

The population of the Great Green Macaw is in great danger of becoming extinct in Costa Rica. Here it is estimated that less than 200 individual birds remain, with less than 30 breeding pairs.

spread the word to all its regional officials, thus protecting the tree throughout the country. The Sala IV also ordered the environmental courts to monitor compliance with the decision. The tree is known in Spanish as the almendro amarillo, and it has the Latin name of Dipteryx panamensis. It is a slow-growing, towering tree that has wood so dense it only recently has become subject to lumbering. The wood resists termites, too. The court decision annulled an order issued in February 2007 by the director of the Área de Conservación Arenal Huetar Norte that would allow harvesting of the tree.

The great green macaw is far more endangered than the almond trees. The Rainforest Biodiversity

Group, which used to be called Friends of the Great Green Macaw, reports that only about 50 nests of

the bird were found in a census and that some of the nests had not been occupied.

   The group estimates on its Web site www.greatgreenmacaw.org that only about 200 of the birds remain in Costa Rica, about 10 percent of the original population remains. The bird is called lapa verde in Spanish and has the Latin name of Ara ambigua. The birds have a real advantage with the towering almond trees. The seeds or nuts provide food for the birds and other forest creatures. Cavities in the tree collect water that the birds drink as well as supply safe locations for nesting. The objection to lumbering was brought to the Sala IV by a man identified in the decision summary by the last names of Carmiol Ulloa. He was doing so on behalf of the Asociación Red Costarricense de Reservas Naturales. The Arenal Huetar Norte conservation area is some 4,220 square kilometers (1,629 square miles) that runs north from Zarcero to the border with Nicaragua. The area extends to a point west of Upala and shares a border with the Área de Conservación Tortuguero on the east. The reserve network organization that brought the case is an association of some 110 private reserves.

    The almendro tree was not commercially viable until the introduction of special carbon steel blades

about 25 years ago due to the density of the wood. Some trees may be 50 meters, nearly 164 feet, tall.

Protection of the trees and the birds have long been a goal of many environmental organizations, and a

few years ago at one Texas university a concert was held to raise money to protect the trees and the bird habitat.


A.M. Costa Rica file photo

The Great Green Macaw

A study is done in Costa Rica of the

Buffon’s Macaw

Text Box: The Buffon’s Macaw is an endangered species and is protected under CITES Appendix 1 list

The Red shows the Buffon’s Macaw is located in their natural habitat in Central and South America.

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The Buffon’s Project receives 2 Male Buffon’s!


    The Coastal Bend Companion Bird Club and Rescue Mission of Corpus Christi Texas recently presented us with 2 Male Buffon’s Macaws to be paired up with a couple of lonely females we have at our facility. Males are very hard to find and these males were very much needed. The fact that these males were both imported birds made it even more exciting as this will add new DNA’s to the Project.

  The Buffon’s were taken to the CBCBC’s Rescue Mission and Director Jim Harmon, realizing how endangered they were, recommended to their bird club that these birds be included in our Buffon’s Project. The club members agreed and on March 23, 2012, CBCBC’s Vice President Jessica Gilmore and her husband Zach, traveled from Corpus Christi, Texas to Lakeland, Florida to deliver these special birds!

 We want to say a big THANKS to this bird club for their gift that will help with saving this endangered species from extinction!

Vice President Jessica Gilmore and her husband Zach ‘hand deliver’ the crate with the 2 Male Buffon’s Macaws and present them to Fred Smith.


   We have relocated the Buffon’s project to Texas. The project has expanded the number of pairs and are always looking for new bloodline.