The Cayman Parrot population is slowly on the rise, but like the Blue Iguana, it is facing many threats to its survival. Those at the Department of Environment are urging the public to look out for our national bird this hurricane season.
Cayman’s national bird has always faced threats from hurricanes and storms. Climate change has increased storms size and regularity and it is a concern at the Department of Environment. Jane Haakonsson, Terrestrial Research Officer, said the public has to make space for Cayman’s endemic bird.
“Their resilience is related to the eggs in one basket phenomenon, so there are fewer eggs and fewer baskets,” said Ms. Haakonsson.
According to Ms. Haakonsson, the parrots are less resilience now than they have ever been due to fewer areas to nest and feed.
“We have to live together and they have to have places to nest and they have to have places to forage, otherwise they’re just not going to make it,” said Ms. Haakonsson.
She said only up to 50% of the parrot population is actually breeding and with the 2019 hurricane season in full effect, it could hinder the national birds’ numbers. Ms. Haakonsson said the Brac parrot took five years to recover from Hurricane Paloma in 2008. She believes if Cayman has two consecutive hurricanes, the parrot population will be in real danger.
She said Cayman is lucky to still be able to see the two endemic species in our gardens.
“This is amazing they are found nowhere else in the world and it is such a treat to see them, so it’s a national pride,” said Ms. Haakonsson.
The DOE is setting aside approximately 8-10 days to survey the Cayman Parrot population.