Friends of the Great Green Macaw, Inc


                                                                                                                        7 N. Pinckney St

Newsletter 19                                            Suite 210

No. 4 Vol. 1                            [email protected]                           Madison, WI 53703

June 2004                                                                               



Hello Friends of the Great Green Macaw. Yes, it has been awhile since you have heard from us.  It probably seems even longer as our last newsletter was on our website, where we sent you to see the new changes and read about updates directly on the site.  We might have you do this again in the future, but for this issue and for most of the following issues you’ll receive a separate newsletter document such as this.   It’s hard to believe that this issue will mark the beginning of the 4th year of our newsletter, but it does.  A lot of things are going on with FGGM and we are here to let you know all about them, so read on and find out what’s new with the organization.


First things first…get ready to join us for our fundraising event at Luther’s Blues in Madison July 24th.   More info below…..




Andrew Rothman








Its been a long time coming, but Friends of the Great Green Macaw, will soon be hosting a Benefit Concert in Madison, WI.  Saturday, July 24th will be a night to help protect the rainforest.  Friends of the Great Green Macaw will be hosting the Rainforest Benefit Concert at Luther’s Blues in Madison, WI to raise funds for our rainforest protection programs.


The July 24th Rainforest Benefit show will begin at 7:30 with an informational reception and food.  The lively concert line up will start around 8pm and consist of:


8:00     Andy Ewen and Noah Onsrud (Lead for Madison’s Favorite Honor Among Thieves w/ didgeridoo)


9:15     The Handphibians (Brazilian style percussion troupe)


10:45   Vibe Syndicate (Madison’s up and coming Funk, Soul and R&B group)


12:00   Know Boundaries (voted Madison’s Best Hip Hop Group.  Influenced by Outkast, Raidohead and the Red Hot Chilipeppers)


Throughout the evening, a raffle of locally-donated prizes will be conducted.  There are only 1000 total raffle tickets, and they can be purchased in advance.  They are 1 for $2, 3 for $5 and 7 for $10. Concert precedes will be used for our programs in Costa Rica, including staff support and the Macaw Nest Protection Program, which directly protects active nests from destruction. 


Tickets for the show are $12 in advance and $14 at the door.

Advanced tickets can be purchased at: Luther’s Blues Box Office, Willy St Co-op, Drums and More (Monona), Trim Records and Capitol Center Foods.  Tickets can also be purchased on line at or by phone at 608-257-1184.


Come see a collection of Madison’s Best Music and help support the conservation of your environment at the same time.  See you there!!



I haven’t received anything in the mail from you in awhile…


If you are one of the many people that have found themselves saying this about FGGM you are not alone.  We do however have plans to get you something in the mail very soon. It will be a membership renewal letter, and you can expect this in the coming weeks.  


As you know membership funds help keep the organization going by covering our overhead costs. You, the member, are very important to our organization.  Although, our current membership coordinator hasn’t communicated much with you, we hope that you continue to support our organization and that you renew your membership with us. You will receive a new membership certificate, continue to receive this newsletter, and know that you are helping us, help the Great Green Macaw and the Rainforests of the Costa Rica.


So what’s going on in Costa Rica?


FGGM has two new interim coordinators in Costa Rica. Harmony Patricio and Blari Bumgarner, both from the University of California- Santa Cruz.  They have replaced Ana Hjarne, from Sweden, who had been acting director for the spring.  In their own words this is what Harmony and Blair had to say as they arrived in Costa Rica and started their work with FGGM.


“ The big blue bus wound slowly over the mountain pass, as wispy clouds mingled with the vibrant green of tropical vegetation. Our excitement and anticipation faded as we dropped into the valley, passing plantation after plantation, and we were painfully reminded of our reason for coming to Costa Rica. The stark contrast between lush rainforest and cleared pasture inspires a strong motivation to ensure conservation of the Great Green Macaw’s dwindling habitat. Upon arriving in Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí we were heartened to find that many locals are highly committed to the preservation of this noble bird. The Macaw has become a symbol for the conservation of this unique ecosystem, and we hope that our work will help these kind people to pursue a more sustainable form of development. We have been continuously encouraged by the words and actions of the committed activists here, and we are already developing friendships. The openness and goodwill of the locals has made our transition to a new climate and lifestyle very enjoyable. 


            We have begun work on the Adopt-a-Tree, Adopt-a-Nest, and Adopt-an-Acre programs, and had the pleasure of visiting an incredible Almendro tree with an active Macaw nest. The owner is excited to cooperate with us, and we know that FGGM can ensure the protection of this monumental individual and the Macaws that make this tree their home. We are also gathering information on landowners who may want to participate in the Bird Route, and spreading the word about this opportunity through presentations and outreach efforts. The creation of a Great Green Macaw Education Center will focus our goals of informing the local community and visitors about the importance of the Macaw as an umbrella species, whose well-being is an indicator of the health of the entire ecosystem. We feel that cooperation with local and international organizations is vital to the project’s long-term success, and we will continue to strengthen and broaden this network. Through development of several articles

 for national and international media outlets, we plan to raise the profile of FGGM and the Bird Route project. Every morning we wake to the sounds of hundreds of birds, reminding us that the individuals supporting Friends of the Great Green Macaw are helping to ensure the future of these winged wonders. We thank you for your continued support. ”


As you may have noticed they mention a couple of new projects we are working on, and the next story will tell you more about these new project about them.



FGGM Developing New Projects in Costa Rica


After sitting down and reviewing what FGGM was doing in Costa Rica and what results we were obtaining, we decided we need to do more to directly protect Great Green Macaws and their habitat.  We also wanted you the supporter, to know that your donations were being used in the ways that you wanted them to be used, most importantly for the good of the macaws.  It is with this that we are working on a few new projects.  They are the Adopt – a – Nest / Nest Protection Program, Great Green Macaw Education Center and the Adopt – an – Acre Habitat Protection Program. 

The Adopt- an – acre program is being designed to raise funds to make sure habitat stays protected.  For every $1000 raised for this program 2 acres of land can be protected.  FGGM will either buy the land or enter into a contractual agreement with a landowner to keep this portion of land protected. 


The large scale plan for this project is to work with landowners and organziations to connect portions of land on many properties to create a physical biological corridor from Bosque Tropical del Toro (our old project site) to La Selva Biological Station.  This will support the efforts of the San Juan – La Selva Biological Corridor in helping to educate landowners and get the corridor started on the ground.


The Great Green Macaw Education Center is being proposed by FGGM to help educate visitors to the region about the Great Green Macaw and the peril this species faces.   There have now been captive bred Great Greens born in Costa Rica, and if we can raise money to build an aviary for a pair of these captive bred birds, we can then provide the visitor with an up close and personal view of the Great Green Macaws.  We believe that more people will support the protection of the Great Greens if they can learn about them, visit their habitat, and actually get to see the beauty of this bird that could disappear from the rainforests of Costa Rica.    We have the wood needed to build part of aviary, but we are in need of money for metal fencing to complete the aviary.  If you can help, please write us at the address on the top of this newsletter.


We have also started the Adopt – a – Nest / Nest Protection program.  It goes a little something like this…


Great Green Macaw Nest Protection Program

Friends of the Great Green Macaw is raising money to ensure the protection of trees that endangered Great Green Macaws nest in, which are almost exclusively mature almendro trees.  Only 50 or so Great Green Macaw nests have been found in Costa Rica during the most recent nest survey.  Some of the nests are used every year, while others are not.  As the macaws are very selective, each identified nest holds incredible natural value. 

To make sure these nest trees stay standing (12 identified nest trees have been cut down in the past few years) a program has been established to give landowners an incentive to protect nest trees on their land.  Each year landowners who join the Great Green Macaw Nest Protection Program are honored at the Great Green Macaw Festival, receive a monetary prize of a couple hundred dollars a year per nest, and receive a trophy and a certificate recognizing their assistance with the conservation of the Great Green Macaw.  This community recognition helps protect macaw nests by involving people voluntarily and promoting awareness of Great Green Macaw needs.  Proceeds from this fundraiser will go to the Nest Protection Program, which will keep the Great Green Macaw nesting sites protected. 


To assist with this program you can Adopt – a – Nest, which will sponsor the protection of one of the Macaw Nest Trees.  FGGM will assign you a nest.  We will tell you what landowner owns the property and status of the tree.   We will also give you a history of the tree and updated you on the use of the tree by the Great Green Macaws.  Each nest is up for adoption for $100.  This money will be earmarked for use only in our nest protection program by FGGM. 

Please give us time to get you information on your nest tree as this program is just getting underway.  Thanks for the support.  Hope to be sending you information on your adoption soon!




See you in August!  Adios from Friends of the Great Green Macaw