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British Embassy funds project to save Costa Rica’s macaws

July 15, 2013

Sharon Campbell, the U.K.’s ambassador to Costa Rica, last week inaugurated a new education center at the Ara Project’s Punta Islita rehabilitation and release site in the northwestern province of Guanacaste.

The education center, called the “The Lapa Lookout,” was built with funds from the British Embassy and will help the Ara Project rehabilitate and release the endangered scarlet macaw.

The new center is located at an elevated viewpoint that allows visitors to observe free-flying macaws at close range and interact with them on a personal level, the ambassador said.

“This project provides a much-needed opportunity to educate schoolchildren, as well as the local and wider communities, about the importance of respecting the macaw and its habitat, which form an integral part of Costa Rica’s biodiversity,” Campbell said. “It is our hope that from an early age, more people will come to appreciate the value of these majestic birds in their natural environment.”

Scarlet Macaws

Costa Rica’s most colorful and majestic bird, the scarlet macaw (Ara macao), is an endangered species. Courtesy of Charlie Fayers

The British Embassy also funded the construction of lodging for two full-time biologists at the Punta Islita release site. The addition also will increase accommodations available for volunteers.

“The ARA Project is so grateful to the British Embassy for their generous support. It is our hope that visitors to the Lapa Lookout will be inspired to help the macaws, whether by donating to the new breeding center or simply spreading the word,” Ara biologist Charlie Fayers said.

To learn more about the Ara Project, see:www.thearaproject.org.

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