ZooAmerica Opens New Parrot Habitat
Six Thick-Billed Parrots Reside at the 11-Acre Zoo
Visitors to ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park, an 11-acre walk-through zoo that cares for more than 200 animals, may notice a change in the landscape of the Great Southwest region of the Zoo. In January 2020, the ZooAmerica team opened a brand-new habitat four times the size for its six thick-billed parrots.
Enhancing Conservation of Thick-Billed Parrots
The thick-billed parrot is an endangered species and the last remaining parrot species in North America. ZooAmerica is one of only 11 zoos that exhibit thick-billed parrots. The birds are located at ZooAmerica in cooperation with the Thick-Billed Parrot Species Survival Plan (SSP) coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to help oversee the population management and enhance conservation of this parrot species in the wild.
With only about 2,000 to 2,800 thick-billed parrots remaining in the wild, the SSP is taking quick and drastic steps to transfer birds around the 11 zoos to encourage more breeding. To assist in this effort, ZooAmerica will be sending two of the young males (hatched at ZooAmerica) to Kansas to be paired with females. In return, ZooAmerica received two females from California with hopes that they will bond with the remaining males.
The thick-billed parrots are adjusting nicely to their larger surroundings. Not only does the new habitat provide the birds with an extended flight path, but it also allows for enhanced enrichment and training opportunities. Plus, visitors this summer will enjoy four times the amount of viewing area to observe the bright green parrots. Viewing tip: guests should look up to see the birds, as they prefer to be as high as possible in their habitat. They may be perched on their nest boxes shredding pine cones or cracking open acorns.
The future certainly looks bright for this beautiful flock of rare birds at ZooAmerica.