As part of the work carried out by Parque das Aves for the conservation of species, mainly from the Atlantic Rainforest, six Black-fronted Piping-guan (Aburria jacutinga), birds in danger of extinction, were sent on August 28 for release in the Serra da Mantiqueira region, in São Paulo, through the Black-fronted Piping-guan Project, from SAVE Brasil.
The Black-fronted Piping-guan/Huntable Species Project is an initiative of SAVE Brasil (Society for the Conservation of Brazilian Birds) to reintroduce this species in nature. Under the coordination of Alecsandra Tassoni, it started in 2010 and aims to conserve huntable birds – birds that are victims of intense hunting.
The six birds that were sent for release were born in Parque das Aves and selected because they have the greatest chance of surviving in the wild. This because they were born and raised by their parents, grew up in an enclosure in the woods that allowed them to fly. In addition, prior to release, they undergo intense preparation by the Black-fronted Piping-guan Project team.
The Black-fronted Piping-guan is a threatened species and in some places the number of its population is very low. One of the conservation tools is its supplementation, which places more individuals of this species in the area so that the population can recover.
But a release requires many steps and care. Ligia Rigoleto, head of the Veterinary Division in Parque das Aves, mentions that all the necessary examinations were made according to the program. “All conservation and release projects have a sanitary protocol, with several important exams listed. The protocol from SAVE Brasil includes swab collection, which can identify viruses and/or bacteria, as well as blood collection, and the results show that everything is within normal range. We also did other procedures, such as x-rays and endoscopy, as we have more resources here. And we’re very happy to know that they are in excellent condition.”
And it’s not just health issues that count when it comes to reintroducing a bird in the wild. After the six birds leave Parque das Aves they’ll undergo a monitoring program before being released. In this first stage, they stay in a rehabilitation site in Serra da Mantiqueira, where they undergo a process of setting up, in which the project evaluates behavioral and social factors, besides receiving training to recognize wild food items, develop muscles to fly and recognize predators.
The Black-fronted Piping-guan, an endemic bird of the Atlantic Rainforest, is a species considered endangered according to the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) red list, and has had its population drastically reduced. The bird is an intense hunting victim, either for food or sports purposes, and also suffers from the loss of habitat, since only 8.5% of the original territory of the Atlantic Rainforest remains. In addition, the exploration of the juçara palm (Euterpe edulis), source of food for the guan, is one of the main causes of its extinction. Although not entirely dependent on the fruits of this tree, many birds die because of lack of it.