Parrots Over Puerto Rico: An Illustrated Children’s Book Celebrating the Spirit of Conservation

GR:  Will the Puerto Rican parrot survive?  It is the only remaining native parrot in Puerto Rico.  Parrots of the region began disappearing in the 1700’s due to logging, farming, and pet collecting.  The species’ prospects have improved, but the World Conservation Union still lists it as critically endangered. In 2012, there were only 58–80 individuals in the wild and 300 individuals in captivity. Considering the numbers that persist, I wondered if conservation efforts over the past 40 years have done enough.

This blog post from Brain Pickings describes the species’ step back from the brink of extinction.

“Most children’s books are full of animals — as protagonists, as pets, as age-old standbys in fairy tales and alphabet primers alike. But, as Jon Mooallem poignantly observed in his bittersweet love letter to wildlife, by the time each generation of children grows up, countless species of animals that roamed Earth during their childhood have gone extinct — today, scientists estimate that one species ceases to exist every twenty minutes. Perhaps whatever chance we have of reversing this tragedy lies in translating our children’s inherent love of animal characters into a tangible grown-up love of animal species, the kind of love that protects them from growing extinct, preserves their natural habitat, and honors the complex dynamics of ecosystems.”


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