One species at high risk from poaching in the Rio Bravo is the Yellow-Headed Parrot. Endemic to Belize, these creatures are highly sought as pets because of their ability to imitate sounds and voices. Poachers prey on the chicks, going so far as cutting down trees in the pine savannahs where they nest to capture the chicks. Because they can only reproduce in the wild and bear only two to three chicks a year, their stock has been so severely depleted that they are facing a very high risk of extinction and have been placed under endangered status on the list of protected species. In light of this, Programme for Belize has since implemented a Yellow-Headed Parrot Recovery Programme, which includes extra protection of nesting sites during the breeding months of March to July and a public awareness programme to reduce the demand for these parrots as pets.
Conservation education and awareness is no longer considered a separate management programme, but is dispersed as a component within all Programme for Belize’s conservation projects. Consequently, PFB has conducted workshops and education seminars in the villages surrounding its lands to educate residents on the importance of protecting the flora and fauna of the Rio Bravo. PFB will continue to use this important and interactive approach to gain further consensus and support for its goals.