the Great Green Macaw, Inc
June 1, 2002 - December
The Mission of Friends
of the Great Green Macaw (FGGM) is to Preserve and Rehabilitate the
Great Green Macaw in Costa Rica, to protect the biodiversity in the ecosystems
in which it is found. We will accomplish this thru the creation of local
and private conservation initiatives. This annual report covers a year
and a half, from June 1, 2002 – Dec. 31, 2003. This extra time
allowed us to change our annual reporting cycle from June to May cycle
to a Jan.
to Dec. cycle.
During this last cycle, Friends of the Great Green Macaw experienced
many changes. We moved from El Retorno to Bosque Tropical del Toro. We
an office in Chilamate, Costa Rica, and began developing the Costa Rica
Bird Route: Section San Juan – La Selva. We lost a great board
member in Stephanie Schmid, but gained a CPA as our treasurer. Our volunteer
took off and we had nearly 40 people volunteer their time with us. All
of these points, along with other activities are further laid out in
this Annual Report.
In 2002-2003, FGGM focused its conservation
activities on Education, Reforestation and Research.
Friends of the Great Green Macaw personal were able to reach at least
800 people with our education programs this year. We directly presented
to about 450 people and in-directly communicated to at least 400 people,
while simply talking with people on the streets or at conferences etc.
This years highlights included a number of presentations at schools in
Costa Rica. We talked about the Great Green Macaw and its importance,
planted trees and introduced the kids to binocular and field guide use.
held presentations for college courses traveling in Costa Rica. Many
presentations were held with conservation organizations in Costa Rica
in regard to developing
the Costa Rica Bird Route. At the 2nd Annual Bi-national Macaw Festival,
we guided a birding tour, and assisted with all of the environmental
education programs for children.
In the states we gave presentations to a number of Bird Clubs, Nature Centers
and Conservation Organizations.
Last year we finished our reforestation project at Finca El Retorno,
planting an additional 600 trees, leaving us with over 1,500 trees
planted on this
property. When we moved to Bosque Tropical del Toro (BTT) we planted
an additional 150 trees. At BTT however, the owner of the property
engaged in a reforestation program so our work switched from planting
trees to caring for some 20,000 trees. We also began a seed bank from
the forest and began germinating and replanting them. In addition,
we assisted a couple of other local sites purchase and plant trees
on their properties
We are most proud of the 10 trees we provided that were planted by
the Minister of the Environment of Costa Rica and the Vice Minister
Environment of Nicaragua with children during the inauguration of the
2nd Annual Bi-national Macaw Festival.
At El Retorno we concluded our biological surveys. Our mammal surveys
ended with 21 species, including river otter, ocelot and Felis onca
as the Jaguar. Our herp (reptile and amphibian) numbers concluded at
40 species, and our bird survey ended at 207 species. For our point
bird surveys we had 87 data collection days. We conducted a Christmas
Bird Count at El Retorno and we were up from 81 species in 2001 to
in 2002. We also made 146 observations of Great Green Macaws over this
At BTT we began species inventories, however data collection for point
count bird surveys was difficult and intermittent. By the end of the
year however we had observed 125 species of Birds, 17 species of butterflies,
9 species of mammals, again including a jaguar sighting, and 26 species
of reptiles and amphibians.
In 2002, we also assisted Tirimbina Rainforest Center with their Christmas
Bird Count. The FGGM group identified 94 species, and in total the list
was over 150 species for the day.
Our agriculture output and impact was slightly diminished this year simply
due to the interests of the personnel that we had working with us. We
did expand the gardens at El Retorno before we left, and also left the
with a young orchard of over 40 fruit trees. We did similar things at
BTT. This year was highlighted by the opportunity to participate in two
development courses, one at the Punta Mona Center for Sustainable Development
and another in the municipality of San Carlos.
Overall we learned a great deal about tropical agriculture. We talked
with locals and traded plants and growing tips. At different times of
we were able to provide supplemental foodstuffs for our volunteers, which
has been one of our goals for the agriculture program.
The overall goal of this proposed Birding Route is to increase the amount
of habitat under protection for the endangered Great Green Macaw and
for the biodiversity within the San Juan – La Selva Biological
FGGM President Andrew Rothman developed the idea of this birding route
in the spring of 2002. With FGGM’s work with development of the
SSBC, it was natural that FGGM propose a bird trail though the potential
In 2002 and 2003 FGGM began to contact Trail creators in the US and connected
with Fermata, Inc. and also began to propose the idea to locals, and
other conservation groups.
Friends of the Great Green Macaw began meeting with local groups in the
winter of 2003 and continue to meet with groups. Friends of the Great
Green Macaw have met with the following groups:
- ABAS: Local association for protection of the
- ANASA: Local naturalist guide association
Local association for environmental and community well being
National environmental law association
- Executive Committee SSBC
- Laguna Lagarto Lodge
- National Great Green Macaw
- National Ornithological Society of Costa Rica
Conservation Learning Center
- Selva Verde Lodge
- Red de Reservas Privadas: National
Private Reserve Network
- Tirimbina Rainforest Center
- VIDA: National
association for environmental programs and volunteers
With these meetings FGGM received support for the development of
a conservation route that would be called the Costa Rican Bird
Route: Section San Juan — La
Selva. Of extreme importance was the support of the Executive
Committee SSBC to develop this project as part of the San Juan — La
Selva Biological Corridor. Friends of the Great Green Macaw also received
word from the
Minister of the Environment of Costa Rica, that he supported the
of the Great Costa Rica Bird Route as well.
After receiving support for the project, FGGM began to do two things.
First, FGGM began to visit potential sites to develop a preliminary
Bird Route. To assist with site visitation and information gathering
FGGM hired Maria Victoria Chiriboga from Saint Leo University in
an intern. The information gathered on each site can be found in
Section III of this report. Sites that were initially visited by FGGM
(in alphabetical order):
- Bosque Tropical del Toro
- Garza Azul
- Gavilan Lodge
- Isla Verde Refuge
- Laguna Lagarto Lodge
- Laguna de Tambor
- La Quinta Country Inn
- Lomas Sardinal
- Rancho Leona
- Reserva Quebrada Grande
- Reserva Rio Tres Amigos – Santa Elena
- Sarapiqui Conservation
- Selva Verde Lodge
- Tirimbina Rainforest Center
Second, FGGM further accentuated
the project by refining and developing a concept note and proposal
that could be sent to potential
agencies. This process is still continuing. FGGM applied for funding
for this route
from the following granting agencies:
National Fish and Wildlife
Wildlife Trust / Species Survival Fund (2002)
The Max and Anna Levinson
Conservation International / Critical Ecosystem Partnership
Fund (CEPF) (2003)
Friends of the Great Green Macaw spent a lot of time developing
these proposals, in particular for CEPF funding, but were unable
funding for the
proposed Bird Route.
In addition to these documents FGGM began developing a Code of
the Ethics that is to be a guide for participating site owners
are also developing a questionnaire for landowners within the proposed
Juan – La Selva Biological Corridor, including those within
the proposed Maquenque National Park. Both these documents are
improved by FGGM, Executive Committee SSBC, and others.
Currently in regards to this Bird Route, FGGM is editing the Strategic
Development Plan for the San Juan – La Selva Biological Corridor.
Within this Plan FGGM will include its proposed plan for developing the
Costa Rica Bird Route: Section San Juan – La Selva. We are
also in the continual process of perfecting our proposal, researching
grants and applying for funding.
San Juan – La Selva Biological Corridor
As a founding member of the San Juan – La Selva Biological
Corridor Committee we participated in 10 regular meetings as well
sessions. These sessions included meetings were FGGM assisted with
of funding proposals, where we outlined objectives for the corridor
and new national park and where we edited and translated promotional
for the Corridor. We also had the opportunity to participate in
educational and developmental workshops in Nicaragua including
the 2nd Annual
Bi-national Macaw Festival. We participated in an education exchange
the conservation organization ASEPALECO in the Nicoya Peninsula
are developing a Biological Corridor.
Friends of the Great Green Macaw also took on the role of developing
tourism plans for the corridor and continued to develop the Costa
Rica Bird Route
within the San Juan – La Selva Corridor.
Festivals and Conferences
Friends of the Great Green Macaw hosted and
/ or participated in a number of festivals and conferences this year.
We held our first
General Membership Meeting, and two Benefit Concerts in Stevens
Point. We also
participated in the annual Eco-fair at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens
Point and as mentioned earlier the 2nd Annual Bi-national Macaw
Festival. Friends of the Great Green Macaw also participated in
the Young Environmentalist
Field Day with ASCOMAFOR in community of Santa Elena.
In June 2002 we began our summer intern and volunteer program,
which manifested into a continual volunteer program for the whole
From June ’02 –Dec. ’03
over 40 volunteers assist us with our projects in Costa Rica for some
period of time. The volunteers represented 11 countries. The volunteers
Frascisco de España
Maria Victoria Chiriboga
Gina de Pangea
Additionally, we had help in the US from:
As mentioned in the intro our Board changed since June 2002. Bill
Volkert became our Secretary. Steve Mahler joined the board as a
Leopold was given
a lifetime Honorary Membership. Stephanie Schmid stepped down as the
Secretary. Russ Rothman took over this position, which allowed Jeff Kuckenbecher
become our Treasurer.
In 2002 –2003we had 39 total members, up from 26 in 2001-2002.
Of these 39 only 6 were renewals which means we gained 33 new members.
Between June 2002 and Dec. 2003 we published Newsletters 8 through
Our newsletter mailing list is now over 200.
Our Website was updated and maintained.
FGGM had a student chapter at UW- Stevens Point.
But after one year
the chapter was too difficult to keep going.
Income from Costa
TOTAL FUNDS RAISED
(6/2002 - 12/2003)
Total Work Value
(Promotion Development, Production, Consultation,
Supplies and Equipment(books, binoculars,
Office Supplies: Cost of items needed for Office Use (stamps, etc)
Organizational Costs: Cost of fees and items needed for basic upkeep/
overhead of org (website fees, etc)
Promo: Costs of merchandise, events, or other promotional related expenses
(Stickers, Band fees, etc)
Staff Business Expenses: Costs for staff to conduct business (food,
loging, gas, etc) (note some portion of costs spent in Costa Rica)
IN THE UNITED STATES:
Staff Business expenses
IN COSTA RICA:
Transport: Money used for transportation for project director
Project Funds: Money needed for functioning of Projects ( Equipment,
trees, office supplies, etc)
Living Expenses: Money needed for living expenses for Project Director
(Rent, groceries, house needs)
Andy's Expenses: Money reimbursed to Andy for personally paid
living expenses in CR (Lodging, meetings)
Income: Money taken in from donations of volunteer fees and other
TOTAL $ 2,035.28
TOTAL EXPENDITURES 6/02 –12/03: