SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Scientists transported 25 endangered Puerto Rican parrots to one of the U.S. territory’s largest forests Thursday in a bid to save the island’s last native parrot species.
Natural Resources Secretary Carmen Guerrero said in a phone interview that the forest has the largest plant diversity on the island. “You can imagine how that translates into a buffet for our parrots,” she said.
The arrival of the 25 parrots represents a local and federal effort to establish a third population of a bird that saw its numbers dwindle to only 13 in the early 1970s. Two other populations of the birds were earlier established in the Rio Abajo Nature Preserve in western Puerto Rico and in El Yunque, the only tropical rain forest in the U.S. National Forest system.