Salba Nos Lora


“Protecting Parrots on Bonaire”

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if I find a Lora chick

Loras can breed around the year, though most Loras nest in the months July to September. During and just after the breeding season Lora chicks can be found on the ground. They are malnourished, weak and can not fly properly. They make an helpless impression and constantly beg for food. The temptation exists to catch these chicks and take care of them. But it is better to leave them.

When a Lora chick hatches, they are well looked after by their parents. With the characteristic sound "ka-ka-ka-ka-ka" the chicks in the nest beg for food. Father and mother Lora fly in and out with tasty snacks. The chicks grow very quickly and get a nice plumage. Over time the young are fully grown. Until then, they are completely dependent on the parental care. At one point the parents decide it is time for the chick to leave the nest. But the chicks are not immediately prepared to give up their easy life. To get their chicks so far, the parents stop feeding. The chicks get no food for days. Driven by hunger, they leave the nest and spread their wings for the first time. They are considerably lighter in weight and still have to master the art of flying.

At this stage, the chicks are weak and fluttering around. They can be caught easily. Don’t do that. The parents are nearby and keep an eye on their chick and provide it with food again. It is best to to leave the chicks alone.

When you find a Lora chick of which you think the parents

don’t take care of, put the bird on a tree branch near the

place were you found it and  call the Echo conservation team

on their hotline 795 1188. They know what to do.

Don’t take the bird with you, because that is a criminal act!

Is the Lora really so special?

Worldwide, dozens of parrot species are threatened with extinction. Parrots are popular cage birds and the natural habitats of the parrots are increasingly affected. The Lora is one of those rare parrot species. Nowhere else in the world, you will find the Yellow-shouldered Amazon Parrot (Amazona barbadensis) or Lora. Only along the northern coast of Venezuela and a few small islands in the Caribbean Sea. Bonaire is one of those islands. In addition, we find Lora's on the Venezuelan islands Margarita and La Blanquilla. The small habitats of Lora still remain, are isolated from one another. This makes the survival of the birds vulnerable. And that is also shown. Because on Aruba the Lora is extinct since decades. And on Curaçao live only a handful, probably originally from Bonaire or escaped cage birds.

Why are there no Loras on Curacao and Aruba?

The Lora has lived in Aruba, but is extinct since the late forties of the last century. The kunukeros (farmers) hunted on Loras because they caused inconvenience. They ate the maïshi (sorghum) or the fruits. Also, their habitat was shrinking due to increased urbanization. The last wild Lora in Aruba was observed in 1947.

It is not entirely clear whether the Lora also occurred on Curacao. Currently, there is a group of wild yellow head amazons (Amazona ochrocephala) living there.

How is the Lora protected?

Lora is protected by the Conventions (international agreements), national legislation and insular legislation.

The Lora is on the Red List of Threatened Species of the World Conservation Union (IUCN). The Lora is also on a list of protected animals of the SPAW Protocol. This is an international treaty specifically for the Caribbean. Furthermore, the Lora is on the list of critically endangered species of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). That means it is almost impossible to export a Lora to another country.

The protective treaties have been transposed into national and insular legislation. Since 2008 is on Bonaire the Island Ordinance on Nature Conservation in force. It is prohibited to disrupt, capture, sell or kill the Lora. If someone intentionally does so, this is not just a violation of the law, but of a act of crime. There are severe penalties, including fines, imprisonment or both.

But apart from all the island, national and international laws is ultimately about respect and love for nature. We borrow this island from our children. We therefore have a duty to keep the nature in good order for them; including Loras.

Aren’t there still plenty of Loras?

For many years Salba Nos Lora organized an annual Lora count.

Loras are counted at the same time at least twenty different

locations throughout the island. This is a reliable way to

estimate the amount of birds. In the early years, the results

varied between 300 and 500 Loras. Since 2006, the result is

several hundreds higher. That seems like a lot, but for maintaining a healthy and strong Lora population are quite a few birds needed. And we know that if we have some dry years in a row, hundreds of Loras in a short period may die of starvation.

British parrot experts in collaboration with the Fundashon Salba Nos Lora have done years of scientific research into the "Amazona barbadensis", as our Lora is called by scientists. A summary of the results can be found elsewhere on this web site.

How do I stop Loras from eating my mangoes?

The wild Lora is a shy bird, which prefers to keep away from the people. Hunger drives him to us. It is very annoying that Loras in search for food do not distinguish food from the mondi (nature) from food in the kunuku or the garden. That's something you can not blame Loras of course. Though it can be irritating. Worse, Loras are sloppy eaters. Many fruits fall to the ground.

That birds eat from fruit trees or food crops, is a problem that occurs worldwide. The Fundashon Salba Nos Lora wants to investigate what solutions are found and if they are applicable also on Bonaire. Thus, in recent years the foundation planted hundreds of indigenous fruit trees in the nature or in the kunuku just for the Loras to eat. If the mondi provides adequate food, there is no reason for Loras to look for their food elsewhere. Fundashon Salba Nos Lora welcomes any other ideas and people who want to participate in its implementation.

How can I help?

In times of drought you can help by feeding the birds by feeding them. In the longer term it would be even better to plant trees that produce fruits and seeds, which the Loras desire. Native trees that require little or no water and which provide shade and cool your home. Trees like the Watakeli, Wayaka, Kwi, Dreifi di Laman, Hoba, Mangel (Kamari), Shimaruku or the Palu di Boneiru. When you have a fruit tree in your garden, such as a Mango, with fruits you desire, just pull them down when they are not quite ripe. The fruits can ripen inside. Enrich your garden and the island with more trees and plants, a shovel, some young plants and a few hours of work is all it takes. The Loras will thank you!

Finally, you can help by calling the police, SSV, Polis Ambiental or the rangers of STINAPA when you know of someone who disturbs or poaches nests or has Loras for sale. The telephone number is 717 - 3741 or 717 - 8000.

Let’s work together to ensure we can enjoy our Loras for a long time on our island blessed with its beautiful nature.