Daphne Ewing Chow (Loop Cayman) writes about the successful rehabilitation of Grand Cayman Parrots through the joint efforts of the Cayman Islands Department of the Environment (DoE) and the Cayman Parrot Sanctuary.
At the end of 2020, the Cayman Islands Department of the Environment (DoE) and the Cayman Parrot Sanctuary celebrated their 10th successful rehabilitation of Grand Cayman Parrots, through a powerful partnership that began in 2018.
The story began when local bird enthusiast and East Ender, Ron Hargrave, with help from the Terrestrial Resources Unit (TRU) embarked upon a new initiative to help Cayman’s national birds in need.
The Cayman Islands are home to two subspecies of the Cuban Parrot: the Grand Cayman Parrot (Amazona leucocephala caymanensis) and the Cayman Brac Parrot (A. l. hesterna). According to the Cayman Islands Government, about 2,000 parrots inhabit Grand Cayman, while the Cayman Brac Parrot maintains a population of about 400. More than half of the protected species were lost during Hurricanes Ivan and Paloma, and the creatures face the constant threat of land development, poaching and injury from being hit by cars and other human activities.
Due to Mr Hargrave’s efforts and commitment, the Cayman Parrot Sanctuary opened its doors in East End, equipped with an NCL permit so that it could house and take care of the protected species.
With guidance from the TRU and Geddes Hislop from the Cayman Turtle Center, Mr Hargrave began planning aviaries with the specific purpose of rehabilitating Cayman Parrots. Mr Hargrave built numerous large aviaries as well as a 30-foot long flight cage to help birds regain muscles needed for sustained flight.
At the end of 2020, the sanctuary celebrated the recovery of 24 parrots from illegal poaching, car collisions, and injuries (broken/clipped wings) with the support of the local veterinary and conservation community. “The Cayman Parrot Sanctuary bridges one of the biggest gaps in parrot conservation in the Cayman Islands,” says the DoE.
If you see an injured parrot, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or [call 345-] 949-8469.