ACTP hoping to improve gene pool of Amazona Guildingii
October 15, 2013

ACTP hoping to improve gene pool of Amazona Guildingii

The survival of this country’s national bird, the Amazona Guildingii, heavily depends on a conservation programme initiated in 2006.{{more}}

The programme, which is being carried out through a partnership of the Association for the Conservation of Threatened Parrots (ACTP) of Germany and the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines, has as one of its objectives, to protect the remaining natural habitat of the species.

According to the ACTP, this is crucial for the survival of the parrots and other native species; the extension of the breeding centre and the improvement of the management of the captive breeding population of SVG parrots in the Botanic Gardens in order to increase the reproductive output of this facility.

After many years of preparation, an extensive cooperation agreement was concluded with the Forestry Department here in September 2011.

It was a real sensation in October 2011, when 15 parrots from SVG were transferred to Germany as part of the conservation project and Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with the government here.

“ACTP is very proud of the enduring trust of the Government and people of SVG and permitting this transfer,” said Martin Guth, president of the ACTP.

According to Guth, for more than 12 years, no parrots have been transferred from SVG into a properly managed partnership that will ensure the survival of the species, given the unpredictable and severe threats of hurricanes and infectious diseases.

In November 2012, 14 parrots were also transferred from the USA.

After the necessary period of quarantine, the birds were moved into their new aviary, located in Berlin, Germany.

“Recent pairings with the birds from St Vincent and those from the US should create a healthy, genetically diverse reserve population,” Guth told four journalists from SVG who visited the aviary last week.

“All pairings are doing well and would need more time to adapt to their new aviaries and surroundings…”

Presently there are 29 Vincy parrots at the facility, some from the aviary at the Botanic Gardens and the other 14 from the United States of America, through the ACTP.

It is hoped that pairing and breeding the parrot will not only increase the bird’s population, but improve the gene pool as well.

In addition, one of the ACTP’s staff, Katrin Scholtyssek, will be pursuing a PHD based on breeding behaviour and a study of the captive population of the St Vincent parrots at the ATCP. (AA)