Wild Macaw parrots want safety from poachers in Miami-Dade, native residents say

PALMETTO BAY, Florida. – Daria Feinstein said she was concerned about the “magnificent” macaws in her southeast Miami-Dade County neighborhood. She said it was breeding season and poachers were going crazy.

A population of blue and golden macaws populate Coral Gables, Pinecrest, and Palmetto Bay. Ron Magill of Miami Zoo, the macaws have been nesting in South Florida for years.

Jennifer Santino-Finger photographs macaws in Palmetto Bay. (Local 10 News Viewer Share)

Feinstein said she was heartbroken when she first spotted a macaw caught in a poacher’s glue trap. Magill said the birds get stuck and tear out feathers as they escape.

“This bird was terrorized. You can see that all of the feathers are pulled out and all of the glue is sticking to his chest, ”Feinstein said.

“It’s like pulling your hair out,” said Magill.

Jennifer Santino-Finger photographs macaws in Palmetto Bay. (Local 10 News Viewer Share)

State law does not protect the macaws because they are not native species. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission prohibits the use, setting, and possession of bird traps without permission.

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Magill said the macaws came from private pet owners who either lost or released them. Pinecrest residents believe the birds are the descendants of the blue and gold macaws that escaped from Jungle Island when it was in Pinecrest Gardens.

Jungle Island’s Curtis Crider released a statement saying he could not confirm whether the blue and gold macaws in Pinecrest have any relationship with the park.

Jennifer Santino-Finger photographs macaws in Palmetto Bay. (Local 10 News Viewer Share)

For the poachers, the macaws can bring in thousands of dollars. Poachers also look for nests to tear out chick.

“Unfortunately, wildlife trade is one thing because there is so much money in exotic wildlife,” said Magill. “I think it’s right after drugs and guns in terms of money.”

Jennifer Santino-Finger photographs macaws in Palmetto Bay. (Local 10 News Viewer Share)

“How heartless it is to take a bird from its companion, its flock, something that was born in the wild,” said Feinstein. “It’s incredibly cruel.”

Magill said the macaws are not an invasive species because they do not harm other species.

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“This is a very sad thing,” said Magill, adding, “I don’t think lawmakers and lawmakers know what is happening to these animals.”

To protect the birds, the authorities turned Palmetto Bay into a bird sanctuary. Magill and Feinstein hope the state authorities will follow their example.

Jennifer Santino-Finger photographs macaws in Palmetto Bay. (Local 10 News Viewer Share)

Related links

Jennifer Santino-Finger photographs macaws in Palmetto Bay. (Local 10 News Viewer Share)

Read the Palmetto Bay Ordinance

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