Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: The effective reduction of yellow-shouldered parrot poaching requires a sweet of adaptive and responsive interventions

Published source details

Briceño-Linares J.M., Rodríguez J.P., Rodríguez-Clark K.M., Rojas-Suárez F., Millán P.A., Vittori E.G. & Carrasco-Muñoz M. (2011) Adapting to changing poaching intensity of yellow-shouldered parrot (Amazona barbadensis) nestlings in Margarita Island, Venezuela. Biological Conservation, 144, 1188-1193


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Employ local people as ‘biomonitors’ Bird Conservation

A replicated study in 2004 (part of a longer study from 2000-2009) of 10 monitored yellow-shouldered parrot Amazona barbadensis nests in tropical forest habitat on Margarita Island, Venezuela (Briceño-Linares et al. 2011) found that the recruitment of young people as nest biomonitors significantly decreased poaching rate. Implementation of 24 h surveillance by the biomonitors resulted in a decrease in poaching from nearly 100% between 2000 and 2003, to 56% in 2004.  A team of five young people of a similar age, background and social context as poachers were recruited from local communities to monitor nests. The authors point out that it was their hope that the biomonitors would be well-placed to encourage positive conservation action by peers. This study is also discussed in ‘Relocate nestlings to reduce poaching’, ‘Use education programmes and local engagement to help reduce pressures on species’, ‘Provide artificial nest sites’ and ‘Foster eggs or chicks with wild conspecifics’.

 

Relocate nestlings to reduce poaching Bird Conservation

A replicated before-and-after study in 2008-2009 (part of a longer study from 2000-2009) in 15 monitored yellow-shouldered parrot Amazona barbadensis nests in tropical forest habitat on Margarita Island, Venezuela (Briceño-Linares et al. 2011) found that moving nestlings into municipal police premises overnight significantly decreased poaching rates. In 2008, the municipal police received the birds nightly during the breeding season, which brought poaching rates down from 60% at the end of 2007 to 16% in 2008 and 1% in 2009 (with the help of the National Guard). The Macanao municipal police helped with surveillance in the field and escorted the fledglings every night to police headquarters instead of the local field base. In 2009, birds were taken nightly to the National Guard headquarters. Overall, the fledging rate doubled while the poaching rate was halved from 2000-2009 compared to pre-intervention period of 1990-1999 (3.8 and 1.6 birds / nest; 25% and 49% respectively). This study is also discussed in ‘Use education programmes and local engagement to help reduce pressures on species’, ‘Provide artificial nesting sites’, ‘Employ locals as biomonitors’ and ‘Foster eggs or chicks with wild conspecifics’.

 

Foster eggs or chicks of parrots with wild conspecifics Bird Conservation

A replicated study in 2005-2006 (part of a longer study from 2000-2009) in 18 monitored yellow-shouldered Amazons Amazona barbadensis nests in tropical forest habitat on Margarita Island, Venezuela (Briceño-Linares et al. 2011) found that fostering fledglings and assisted breeding significantly decreased poaching rates.  The use of foster nests and assisted breeding in 2005 decreased poaching from 56% at the end of 2004 to 18% in 2005 and 0% poaching in of monitored nests in 2006. Fledglings from high-risk nests (further away from the base) in the study area were moved to foster nests (possessing similarly aged fledglings) near the field base. All fledglings from each nest were then removed and placed them in a labelled wooden box in a secure facility after sunset, and returned to the nest at sunrise. This strategy was initiated once the parents stopped spending the night inside the nests, around 30–40 days after hatching. This study is also discussed in ‘Relocate nestlings to reduce poaching’, ‘Use education programmes and local engagement to help reduce pressures on species’, ‘Employ locals as biomonitors’ and ‘Foster eggs or chicks with wild conspecifics’.

 

Use education programmes and local engagement to help reduce persecution or exploitation of species Bird Conservation

A replicated study from 2000-2003 (part of a longer study from 2000-2009) of 10 monitored yellow-shouldered parrot Amazona barbadensis nests in tropical forest habitat on Margarita Island, Venezuela (Briceño-Linares et al. 2011), found that there was no short-term decrease in poaching rates after raising environmental awareness at schools. Poaching increased from 25% (during 1990-1999) to 100% in 2000-2003 of monitored fledglings. The environmental education programme, focused on older elementary schoolchildren (8-13 years old), was established by providing information, training, resources and support to local elementary school teachers. Schools hosted environmental days and started environmental brigades. At the end of each breeding season, a ‘parrot festival’ was organized by the people of one of the towns. The authors point out that the benefits of this program are likely to be detected at later stages of the project. This study is also discussed in ‘Relocate nestlings to reduce poaching’, ‘Provide artificial nest sites’, ‘Employ locals as biomonitors’ and ‘Foster eggs or chicks with wild conspecifics’.

 

Provide artificial nesting sites for parrots Bird Conservation

A replicated study in 2007-2009 (part of a longer study from 2000-2009) in 11 monitored yellow-shouldered parrot Amazona barbadensis nests in tropical forest habitat on Margarita Island, Venezuela (Briceño-Linares et al. 2011) found that artificial nests exhibited low occupancy rates and did not significantly hinder poachers. Of the 12 artificial nests used to supplement existing natural nest, six were used: 1 was used every year, 1 was used in 2007 and 2008, and 4 were used only once (which equated to 25% nest use rate). Moreover, only 40% of the nestlings succeeded in fledgling, the rest being subject to an armed group of poachers raiding the site designated as an assisted breeding program. The artificial nests were made from the preferred natural nesting tree of yellow-shouldered parrots, verawood (Bulnesia arborea). This study is also discussed in ‘Relocate nestlings to reduce poaching’, ‘Use education programmes and local engagement to help reduce pressures on species’, ‘Employ locals as biomonitors’ and ‘Foster eggs or chicks with wild conspecifics’.