Salba Nos Lora

 

“Protecting Parrots on Bonaire”

Lora count

                                             



Late January is the annual count of the Loras. By these counts we get a picture of the number of Loras on the island. This is important, because it is an endangered bird that is legally protected. In the past hundreds of Loras were taken from the wild and put in cages. That happened so often that nearly as many Loras lived in captivity as were still living in the wild.


The numbers of Loras still present in nature are a concern. It is a small and vulnerable group. Therefore it is important to monitor their number.


The annual census provides an estimate of the minimum number. It is not a scientific assessment of the actual quantity of present Loras. In addition the census provides information on the habits and whereabouts of the Loras. The census also has educational value.


Method

The Fundashon Salba Nos Lora organizes the census in cooperation with STINAPA Bonaire and the Department of Natural Resources and Environment of the island government. Dozens of volunteers participate annually. In advance we search for the roosting sites of the Loras. These are places where they congregate to rest and to spend the night. The roosts are in dozens of different sites mainly in the north and center of the island. The method of counting we use is  called a simultaneously count. This means that we count at different places in the same time.


In the early morning of the day of the count the volunteers go to the sites assigned to them. At least two counters per spot. They arrive there in the dark. Then they wait until the sun rises and the nature awakens.


The Loras too wake up and sometimes are heard from their resting places in the trees. Suddenly, loud shrieking, they fly up. At that time the volunteers count or estimate their numbers. The volunteers watch the behaviour of the Loras. Everything is recorded: point of departure, number, flight direction and destination. Including the time on which it happens. In this way they prevent double counting of Loras.


Results

The graph of the number of Loras counted over the years is a bit erratic. The difference between one year and the other can often be explained by weather and food supply. Longer periods of rain or drought determine the amount of food in nature. And this in turn affects the behaviour of the Loras. Thus, on the day of the count, it can happen that they did not come together at the roosts.

They may have already spread across the island in couples. That makes the count more difficult. But that does not mean there are fewer Loras.


The graph shows an upward trend over the years. And that's good news for our Loras!

Annual Count