The principal aim of the Tambopata Macaw Project is to study the
various aspects of the ecology of large macaws and parrots to help
us better understand the interactions among clay lick use, food
supply, breeding season, breeding success, abundance, and
movements. The individual data sets collected by the assistants are
then integrated to help determine how they are related.
Of great interest to us here at the project is that clay lick
use by large macaws at TRC was very low in 2009 due to the changes
in vegetation and soil conditions. However, in early 2010 the
Peruvian government, together with the members of our research
project are planning to manage the clay lick to help restore the
large macaw usage. As a result, we have the unique opportunity to
study the same populations of macaws both with and without clay
lick use. This will be a major focus of our research through at
Another important aim of the project is to help train new
generations of conservation scientists. As a result, we work
closely with young Peruvian and foreign assistants and help them
gain the skills they need for conducting research. Students
interested in conducting their own independent studies as parts of
independent study classes, or theses at the undergrad, MS or PhD
levels are encouraged to apply to study one of the many aspects of
macaw and parrot biology at the sites.
Specific project objectives
- Determine if food abundance or clay lick use is more closely
tied to nest occupancy and nesting success.
- Determine if clay lick use is correlated with parrot
- Determine how large macaw nest success varies with relation to
food supply and climate.
- Document the nutritional content of parrot foods in the forest
to better understand the role of clay lick in the diet of macaws
- Determine the health status of adult and young parrots to use
this information to help manage parrots in captivity (this work
being done in conjunction with Drs Heatley and Hoppes from Texas