I’m back in the cold wet UK. From the hot dry Bonaire. My month there sped by. As I knew it would. I am now however well informed on parrot problems, Caribbean island deforestation problems, how to build log trail steps, how a composting loo works, how to make seed bombs, and rats diet preferences.
The parrots of Bonaire have declined in number due to:
– Habitat destruction. This goes back to the 1800s when Europeans helped themselves to all the nice trees. Little saplings that would have ordinarily replaced these were chomped into non-existence by the non-native donkeys, goats, pigs and chickens that were let loose. Less of the nice trees meant less food for parrots and also less nesting sites. The Yellow-shouldered Amazon parrot makes it’s nest in deep cavities. Deep in big old tree trunks or caves. Various organisations, including Echo, are putting back these older tree types. Which hopefully, will once again provide food and eventually nest sites too.
– Illegal pet trade. This is still a massive problem. The parrots are taken as wee chicks from the nest. Parrots actually make bad pets. Too intelligent. Too long life expectancy. Too bored. Too possessive. They belong in the wild with other parrots.
– Non-native bees. The African honey bee has hit Bonaire. They swarm and spread rapidly. How do they affect parrots? They steal parrot nests. Which there are too few of already.
Well I still don’t have my next job. So where to next? I head to Malta tomorrow for a week. More volunteering.
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