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Apr 032012
 

Home to the Giants, Guyana never fails to amaze!

So little is known about Guyana that when I mention we are doing conservation work there we are generally met with, “wow, I have always wanted to go to Africa” or “Don’t drink the coolaid”.  Within this small country (80,000 square miles or the size of all of New England) lies one of the largest, if not THE largest unbroken primary rain forest on earth.  As the founder of a non profit parrot rescue group, Foster Parrots Ltd., my interest in Guyana started out to be one preservation and conservation of wild parrots.  Guyana is one of only a few countries on this planet who allow the capture and export of most of their native wildlife and as such there is no poaching of wildlife, it is all perfectly legal!

Sun Parakeets

Once common in Brazil, Venezuela, Guyana and Suriname the Sun Parakeet was hunted to near extinction by the pet trade. Photo by Tom Murray

When we started working in Guyana our focus was on offering the world the true vision of what parrots are, wild and perfectly evolved to their environment, not an ornament for our homes or an amusing “companion” held captive for our own vanity.  We soon learned that Guyana offered a wealth of amazing “life list” sightings!  This trip offered up the Crested Doradito, the Sun Parakeet and the Harpy Eagle!

Guyana offers all of us the chance to preserve a quickly vanishing resource not to mention the opportunity to discover what must be a wealth of new species in areas never before explored or examined by any scientist.  Will we beat the oil and mining companies to this gem or will we watch as history repeats itself and this valuable asset vanishes?  Foster Parrots escorts two trips a year to Guyana and now features a three day visit to Kaieteur falls.  For more information please email me at marc@fosterparrots.com and check out the information at http://www.wildrupununi.com or http://www.fosterparrots.com

Crested Doradito, Previously unknown in Guyana, our guides took us to this rare bird in Lake Amucu. Photo by Dr. David Morimoto

Guyanan Cock of the Rock, photo by Joe Warfel

Marc Johnson, Foster Parrots Ltd.

Harpy Eagle

Surprise! A Harpy Eagle greats us on a local river trip in Rewa, Guyana, photo by Morgan Lee

Marc Johnson

Marc Johnson

Founder and CEO of Foster Parrots Ltd, a non profit parrot rescue and sanctuary with a special focus on education and conservation. Foster Parrots strongly believes that parrots are wild animals and as such belong in the wild where they are perfectly adapted to a life of freedom. In wildness lies the true conservation of parrots for the future. Foster Parrots established a conservation effort in the little know country of Guyana in 2003 where we strive to offer the Amerindian population an income source other than the legal trapping of their wildlife. We escort groups to several villages where eco-tourism efforts are now established (one, Maipaima Lodge in Nappi Village, by our organization).

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  • Marc

    Thanks Sean,
    I know Andy and his group very well and one can’t help but be totally impressed by these young people and their enthusiasm. They deserve an award for stepping up to do their part to save their corner of the earth!
    Marc

  • Sean

    Wonderful, Guyana is slowly emerging as a birding destination. Count yourself a pioneer in Guyana. Check out Guyana Feather Friends for an enthusiastic, grassroots group of young Guyanese doing a great job of environmental awareness and birding.

  • Marc

    I am humbled by your comments Ken, thank you.

  • Ken Billington

    Marc, I just browsed your website http://www.fosterparrots.com – amazing the great work that you’re doing there in Guyana. We need to make more people aware of the issues, which are important for preserving the rain forest habitats in Guyana. I would encourage all of our blog readers to share this article. Outstanding article, Marc – keep up the good work.

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