AVES SAGRADAS™ SANCTUARY [COSTA RICA] Centro de Recuperación de Loros
Aves Sagradas Sanctuary logo. Graphic design by Klaudia
Countless caged and suffering parrots need rescue.
There is an urgent need to restore their lives and land. The Kerulos Center has been given the opportunity to do just this.
Mr. Curt Clemenson, an avid supporter of environmental protection and innovative education in Costa Rica for more than 20 years, has generously donated land in Costa Rica so that we may build a sanctuary and healing center for rescued parrots and macaws.
Sanctuary is more than refuge. Sanctuaries are the seeds of cultural change where animal values, language, and custom can be integrated into human culture.
Since receiving Mr. Clemenson's generous gift of land, we have been working to make this "home away from home" sanctuary dream a reality for parrots in need. You can read a detailed description of Aves Sagradas™ Milestones or this summary:
Sanctuary Design - As part of their thesis, two architecture students from the University of Costa Rica, San Jose, have volunteered to help us design the parrot sanctuary. Once the land survey is completed, the students will be able to begin to create a sanctuary plan.
Parrot Welfare, Conservation, and Environmental Education Assessment - In 2012 we completed a country-wide survey to inventory existing parrot conservation and rescue organizations and environmental education programs. Much of the field work was conducted by our bilingual summer intern, Ms. Jessica Little. The survey will also gathered information on relevant laws and regulations, organizational capacity, and welfare, education and conservation status and needs. This information has been integrated into a report to inform sanctuary and program design, craft in-country workshops that bring parrot protection organizations and multi-disciplinary professionals together, and serve as a resource for other groups. Ultimately, the assessment will contribute to more effective and resilient parrot conservation in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica National Wildlife Day (July 23, 2012) - Maike Heidemeyer and Kerulos interns participated in diverse activities and celebrations to bring attention and action to help the thousands of parrots who suffer from poaching and captivity.
Aves Sagradas Logo - Thanks to the skilled elegance and generosity of Croation graphic artist Klaudia Barbic, we now have a new Aves Sagradas™ logo (top of page). Please join us in thanking Klaudia for her beautiful work!
Aves Sagradas™ Vision and Mission
Our vision is that all parrots live in dignity and freedom. Our mission is to rescue and rehabilitate parrots in captivity and transform attitudes about parrots from possession to respect, independence, and sovereignty.
Click on image to see video.
Aves Sagradas™ Sanctuary is located in the beautiful forest of northwestern Costa Rica near Arenal Volcano National Park. The region is home to a diverse array of parrot species and other exquisite wildlife—all of whom are under dire threat. (see Parrot Status sidebar).
Through collaborative programs that integrate trans-species science, conservation, and animal protection, Aves Sagradas™ Sanctuary will help parrots and people in five main ways:
Provide sanctuary and a foster parrot network
Link community, conservation, reintroduction, and sanctuary
Develop trans-species trauma recovery training
Mobilize education and resources to improve parrot well-being
Create collaborative programs to support conservation enforcement and policy
Who We Are
Kerulos faculty member Robin D. Bjork, Kerulos executive director Gay Bradshaw and communications director Monica Engebretson are leading this important program.
While our work centers around the sanctuary that provides homes and rehabilitates illegally kept and confiscated parrots, Aves Sagradas™ is working with other sanctuary and conservation organizations and individuals to integrate skills and resources that build long term resilience and effectiveness.
Parrot Status Hundreds of thousands of parrots remain hostage in their own land in cages no larger than their bodies. The numbers of household pets in Costa Rica exceeds that of the U.S., Australia, and other western counties.
Over half of Costa Rican households will have kept a wild animal at some point. The majority are psittacids, commonly known as parrots.
A recent survey indicates that 150,000 is a conservative estimate for the present number of parrots in captivity in Costa Rica.
The fact that 70-90 % of birds who are captured die in the process, during transport, or shortly after being made captive, is but one indication of the profound suffering and population losses sustained.
Captive parrots fare poorly. The majority shows symptoms associated with psychological and physical trauma and many suffer abuse and profound neglect. In addition, capture and captivity, combined with habitat conversion to pineapple and other crops, is devastating to free living populations.
 Drews, C. (2001). Wild animals and other pets kept in Costa Rican households: Incidence, species and numbers. Society & Animals 9(2), 107-125.