Critically Endangered Thick-Billed Parrots Hatch at WCS’s Queens Zoo
- Queens Zoo is home to the largest thick-billed
flock in the United States
- Extinct in the United States, hatchlings mark a
major step towards the conservation of this rare species
Flushing, N.Y.- The
Wildlife Conservation Society’s Queens Zoo is proud to announce the hatching of
six new thick-billed parrot chicks.
The thick-billed parrot is a critically endangered bird
native to Mexico, and at one time, the United States. Its population has
dropped dramatically over the last century due primarily to hunting and habitat
destruction, making the arrival of the chicks a major conservation win for this
extremely rare species.
Since 2006, the Queens Zoo has successfully raised 15
thick-billed parrot chicks – a
magnificent feat for both the zoo and the survival of the species. Having a
total of 23 birds—including the chicks – the zoo’s flock is larger than that of
any other facility accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
“Being that thick-billed parrots are extinct in the United
States, the arrival of these chicks marks a significant step in the
conservation of this animal,” said Dr. Scott Silver, Director of the Queens
Zookeepers say the chicks are adjusting very well to life at
the zoo. Much of their time is spent exploring their nests and waiting for
their parents to bring them food, such as pine nuts and fruit. Usually, one
parent will forage for food while the other watches over the young birds.
Parenting is a joint effort between mother and father, both taking equal parts
in caring for and raising their offspring.
Thick-billed parrots are beautiful birds that feature bright
green and red plumage. At one time the species had at a much wider range that
included Arizona, New Mexico, and other parts of the American Southwest.
Decimated by hunting and logging of pine forests, the bird was eliminated in
the United States by the mid-twentieth century. Because this animal is
endangered, it is part of the AZA’s Species Survival Program, a cooperative
breeding program that works with all accredited zoos to help ensure the
survival of rare and endangered species around the world.
In 1991, WCS introduced the idea of linking ongoing conservation efforts in
Mexico and Central American countries. Since then, governments and agencies
have followed along with this idea to incorporate corridors between
conservation areas and working together across borders.
Russo - 718-265-3428; Cell: 917-494-5493; firstname.lastname@example.org
The Wildlife Conservation
Society’s Queens Zoo – Open every day of the year. Admission
is $8 for adults, $5 for seniors 65 and older, $6 for kids 3-12, free for
children under 3. Zoo hours are 10am to 5pm weekdays, and 10am – 5:30pm
weekends, April through October, and 10am – 4:30pm daily, November through
April. The Queens Zoo is located at
53-51 111th Street in Flushing Meadow’s Corona Park in Queens. For further information, call 718-271-1500 or
The Wildlife Conservation
Society saves wildlife
and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation,
education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife
parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change
attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in
harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the
integrity of life on Earth. www.wcs.org
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and wild places, please direct them to: www.wcs.org/donation.