Update on St Vincent parrot rescue after volcano disaster

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Rosemary Low sends us this update on May 17th 2021:-

"Thanks to all our generous donors, we have surpassed our initial goal of $20,000 and we are thrilled!

However, over ¾ of the $20K funds have already been expended, and more support is needed. We have therefore increased our goal to $30,000. We have no doubt we can reach this, if more caring people chip in!

Help is on the way!

We have been able to source and purchase most of the supplies on an emergency list provided by the Forestry Department of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. We have also sent funds for items to be purchased locally. We have sent off a range of much-needed supplies, including field equipment such as binoculars, respirators, backpacks, machetes, GPS units, walkie-talkies, cameras, and head-lamp flashlights; and also tools and supplies such as hand drills, aviary wire, tarpaulins, and hardware to repair and enhance the Forestry Department’s facilities for breeding captive parrots at the Botanical Gardens.

The shipment also includes supplies to treat and care for rescued parrots—two veterinary “go-bags” (field kits containing all the critical care supplies needed to treat parrots in the field), Vita Seed Top Parrot Mix (300 pounds), hand-feeding formula and medicines to treat rescued parrots, and a portable oxygen generator and St Vincent Parrot-sized mask to help parrots in respiratory distress. Please go to our website and take a look at our most recent article wtih photo gallery and videos: http://bit.ly/Volcano-Relief-St-Vincent-Parrot-update

The first shipment including all of the above items (1,625 pounds) is now en route to St. Vincent via Tropical Shipping sea freight – it will arrive on May 5th. Additional items still to be sent include more respirators and parrot feed, nectar feeders for hummingbirds (many flowering plants have been badly damaged), seed feeders for other birds, and camping supplies to allow Forestry to spend the night in the field during parrot survey watches.

La Soufrière’s destructive path

Currently, the birds’ habitat still faces many challenges and negative impacts. The volcano erupted again on the morning of Earth Day (April 22), with the plume of ash reaching as high as eight kilometers. This created some pyroclastic flows – a mixture of extremely hot volcanic ash and rocks that burns everything in its path. Since then, there have been flows of lahars (these are very fast-moving, dense mudflows or debris flows consisting of pyroclastic material, rocky debris, ash and water) along river valleys and gullies.

To make matters worse, torrential rains on April 28 and 29 have created floods and landslides in several parts of the island (including the capital, Kingstown) exacerbating the flow of lahars through valleys. Residents are being advised not to go near rivers or streams, especially in the dangerous Red Zone in the north.

Vincentians working hard for their birds

Meanwhile, every day, our friends at the Forestry Department are going out to look for birds in need of rescue; to clear paths to the parrot watch stations; and to erect and re-supply fresh fruit (donated by local farmers) on the tall, spindly but sturdy feeding platforms, in forests where parrots have been seen. Several forested areas have been devastated (the district of Jennings was described as a “ghost town”), with many broken trees weighed down by heavy ash falls, even in the less dangerous zones. Many trees have been downed by the rapidly moving lahars and washed out to sea on the leeward side, creating hazards for shipping. This forest damage is not good news for the St. Vincent Parrot.

So, there is much work to be done. However, there is much more help on the way to this beautiful island, under siege. In these uncertain times, our caring local partners will continue to need our support. They are working hard in very challenging, often dangerous conditions to ensure that some of our most vulnerable Caribbean birds are assured of a safe and secure future. Later on, there will be a great deal of restoration work to do. At the moment, the volcano remains “in a state of unrest,” according to the University of the West Indies (UWI) Seismic Research Centre.

To learn more about the current situation in St. Vincent and see some amazing photos and videos, please visit our website: http://bit.ly/Volcano-Relief-St-Vincent-Parrot-update

Once again, we are so grateful and appreciate your kind generosity. So does the gorgeous, golden St. Vincent Parrot and the people who are working to save it on this beautiful island.

Please share this update!

St Vincent's Parrot


A huge thank you also to our international partners who are supporting this relief effort, including Rare Species Conservatory Foundation, Caribaea Initiative, Fauna & Flora International, and the Farallon Islands Foundation. Special thanks to Paul & Karen Reillo (RSCF) for supplying some of the items, packing everything up, and taking it all to the port in FL last week. We thank our amazing local partners SCIENCE Initiative, the St. Vincent & the Grenadines Environment Fund,and the Forestry Dept for your support and hard work.