Blue and gold macaws are globally threatened from poaching for the pet trade and habitat loss. The species was extirpated from Trinidad in the early 1960s. CREW scientists have helped to reintroduce the species to its former range by linking scientific field work with community involvement and conservation education. Through CREW's research efforts a small population of blue and gold macaws has been successfully reintroduced to its former range in Trinidad. Thirty-one wild caught blue and gold macaws were translocated from Guyana to Trinidad between 1999 and 2003.
Post release survival and nesting success have been high. Local villagers from communities bordering the reintroduction site were trained to monitor and protect the released birds. Poaching has been mitigated through community involvement, conservation education and national public awareness campaigns. Local government, private sector, corporate and international support helps to sustain the project initiated by the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden.
Schools in the area adopted the blue and gold macaw as the flagship species for wildlife conservation and protection of the island’s threatened wetlands.