The Rio Grande Valley is one of the only places in the U.S. you can see them in the wild. Now, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is making efforts to protect Red-crowned Parrots.
The UTRGV Brownsville campus is home to an abundance of wildlife.
With the amount of birds, lizards, and insects roaming around, you might think you are in a wildlife sanctuary rather than a university.
To preserve this ecological image, UTRGV has committed efforts to build nests for Red-crowned Parrots, an endangered species native to the Rio Grande Valley and Northeastern Mexico.
“I’m just really excited to have the birds breeding here on campus. I think it’s an extremely unique opportunity to involve students as well as community members.”
Dr. Karl Berg specializes in Ornithology and spearheaded the projects to build the nesting tubes around campus. He says Red-crowned Parrots have been endangered for decades.
“Since the early-90s, we knew they were in trouble. The reason has to do with their original distribution was very small, to begin with, there’s been a lot of habitat destruction in their native habitat, the illegal pet trade has also not helped the scenario.”
The birds’ habitation around the Rio Grande raises questions about the border wall’s effect on them. Some organisms are threatened by the barrier, but Dr. Berg says it should not be an issue.
“As far as I can see it, it would not necessarily prevent them from crossing over into Mexico. Not in the same way it would a coyote, a deer, or something terrestrial. They’re high flyers, right.”
The number of Red-crowned Parrots left in the wild is around 2,000. Projects like these at UTRGV ensure that the City Bird of Brownsville can continue to fly high.