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The Journey of Species Survival is Durrell's main tool for planning and tracking how we deliver our mission of saving species from extinction. We monitor each species through 13 management stages and four main phases as our actions drive its population recovery from the brink of extinction back to safer levels.

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Phase I: Assessment & Planning

Phase I: Assessment & Planning

The first phase of the survival journey focuses on gathering the information required to plan our approach to effectively manage the recovery of the species.

Rapid assessment

Rapid assessment

1975

Durrell staff member David Jeggo visits Saint Lucia for the first time to undertake the first population survey for the Saint Lucia Amazon parrot. It is estimated that there are just 100-150 birds remaining. Hunting is viewed as the biggest threat to the species in addition to habitat destruction and the illegal pet trade.

About the Rapid assessment stage
Field missions are used to assess species conservation status, key threats and initial actions needed to kick start the programme.

Rapid response

Rapid response

1975

Due to the worryingly low numbers of Saint Lucia Amazon parrots in the wild, it is decided that a captive breeding programme should be initiated immediately. During his initial visit to St. Lucia, Durrell’s David Jeggo brings back a female Amazon parrot to Jersey in order to start the first captive breeding population. A year later, one male parrot is received from Bermuda Zoo on loan. The following year, six more parrots are brought to Jersey on government loan from Saint Lucia.

About the Rapid response stage
If extinction risk is very high, captive breeding programmes or rapid field interventions might be used to avert an immediate risk of extinction.

Stakeholder engagement

Stakeholder engagement

1975

Independent parrot expert Holly Nichols and Durrell’s David Jeggo began discussions with the Saint Lucia government at the very start of Durrell’s involvement in order to gain their support. The government of Saint Lucia were very supportive so Holly and David organised a second expedition to Saint Lucia to study the parrot and establish a population estimate. This marked the beginning of a partnership between Durrell and the St Lucia Government and Durrell agree to establish a captive breeding programme at the wildlife park in Jersey. The following year, the Saint Lucia government loan Durrell six parrots to build the captive population. Whilst in Saint Lucia, David recommends that reserves should be established within the forest to protect the habitat of the Saint Lucia Amazon and also calls for the government to launch an awareness campaign to raise the ‘spirit of enthusiam’ among local people to deter illegal hunting.

About the Stakeholder engagement stage
Conservation actions are successfully increasing the species’ numbers and the programme structure is now capable of monitoring and adapting to new or re-emerging threats to the species.

Full assessment

Full assessment

1977

Paul Butler, then of North East London polytechnic, visits Saint Lucia for the first time to conduct an island wide survey to estimate population size of the Saint Lucia Amazon. He estimates that as few as 100 birds are left in the wild and recommends a conservation programme is initiated immediately. He then begins working as an advisor for the government of Saint Lucia to advise the Forestry Division (Government of St Lucia)  and works closely with Gabriel Charles, Head of Forestry, to promote forest and wildlife conservation in Saint Lucia. Shortly after, the powerful Hurricane Allan hit Saint Lucia destroying large tracts of rainforest with only 20% of the remaining forest untouched, raising fears that the species could be at grave risk of extinction. However, despite this widespread habitat damage, a survey conducted in 1982 by Durrell’s David Jeggo suggested that the parrot was starting to recover and by 1986 the population was estimated to have grown to 200-250 birds.

About the Full assessment stage
Intensive research into ecological, environmental and socio-ecological factors affecting the species provides a baseline to inform the planning stage.

Planning & partnership

Planning & partnership

1979

In 1979, Saint Lucia gained independence and the Government prepared an awareness raising campaign by making the St Lucia Amazon the national bird. Legislation was drafted to protect the Saint Lucia Amazon from the impacts of hunting and the Government’s Forestry Department worked hard to raise awareness and promote the conservation of the species in the wild. The jaquot (the Saint Lucia Amazon’s local name) was used to front a campaign for forest protection. The “RARE Pride Campaign” was run by the then newly independent Saint Lucia government with support from Durrell.

In 1980, George Julian and Alex Ford, Saint Lucia forestry department staff members, visited Durrell to train in captive husbandry techniques in order to take these skills back to Saint Lucia to maintain a successful captive population of Saint Lucia Amazon parrots in country. In 1989 the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia escorted a pair of Jersey-bred Amazons back to their homeland to form part of the in-country captive breeding programme. For Saint Lucian people, these parrots, housed in two aviaries funded by the Trust, provided a rare opportunity to meet their often elusive national bird face to face. The captive population in Saint Lucia provided valuable educational opportunities and helped to raise awareness of the species.

About the Planning and partnership stage
Conservation targets and detailed action plans are developed to guide the programme's efforts. Partnerships and governance are also outlined to ensure the programme remains on track.

Phase II: Intensive Care

Phase II: Intensive Care

This phase involves the testing and implementation of intensive management actions to tackle the main threats to a species in order to stabilise its population and promote recovery. It often requires the most resources as it lays the foundation for a species’ long-term recovery.

Trialling actions

Trialling actions

1980

1979 – The Saint Lucia Amazon parrot is used to front a campaign for forest protection and proves successful. The parrot becomes a hugely popular symbol for this young country’s desire for a secure future and in 1980, legislation defining the status and protection of the 16km² Quilesse Forest Reserve is strengthened.

1995 – In 1995, Durrell sends two members of staff to Saint Lucia to contribute to a programme of work to study the parrot in the wild, working alongside Forestry Department Staff. Jim Dawson from Durrell visits Saint Lucia to study the parrot and works with a team of 6 forestry staff for 14 hours a day for 8 months to monitor the breeding habits of the species.

About the Trialling actions stage
Conservation actions are tested on the ground, results are monitored and techniques are adapted to develop effective management actions.

Scaling up actions

Scaling up actions

1989

The species is legally protected under the Wildlife Protection Act (1980) and the fine for hunting the parrot is raised from 24 to 5000 XCD to help enforce CITES as the species is listed under Appendix I and II.

The in-country breeding programme is continued and expanded following visits to Jersey by St Lucia staff to expand their captive husbandry techniques. For Saint Lucian people, these parrots, housed in two aviaries funded by Durrell, provided a rare opportunity to meet their often elusive national bird face to face. The captive population in Saint Lucia provided valuable educational opportunities and helped to raise awareness of the species.

Durrell’s Jim Dawson visits Saint Lucia to conduct further ecological studies and surveys to ensure the effectiveness of the awareness campaign can be measured. He also advises on relevant data collection so that there is sufficient data available should the forest department need to determine where to establish future reserves for the Saint Lucia Amazon in the future.

About the Scaling up actions stage
Once effective management actions are developed they can be rolled out across the intervention zone.

Intensive management

Intensive management

1996

1990 – Surveys in 1988, 1990 and 1992 suggest that the Saint Lucia Amazon parrot population was increasing and had continued to grow to approximately 300-350 birds by 1992.

1995 – Durrell sends two members of staff to Saint Lucia to contribute to a programme of work to study the parrot in the wild, working alongside Forestry Department Staff. Durrell keeper Hilary French visits Saint Lucia in 1996, carrying out monitoring in the wild. Whilst there, she helps streamline the data collection and creates standardised recording protocols for captive and wild data so that comparisons can be made with the data in the future, allowing for effective monitoring and evaluation to take place.

About the Intensive management stage
After actions have been scaled up they are then intensively implemented to bring primary threats under control, enabling the start of the species' recovery.

Adaptive management

Adaptive management

2007

An intense and rigorous survey is carried out from 2007 to 2009 in order to establish an updated population status for the Saint Lucia Amazon parrot. Saint Lucia Forest Department staff and Durrell staff members work in partnership on this study to attempt to estimate the population size in a more rigorous way. Durrell keeper Hester Whitehead worked with Matt Morton, Durrell’s Conservation Biologist based in the Caribbean, to coordinate the survey effort. The study estimated the population size in 2009 to be between 1000 and 2000 individuals with a range of 116 km2. Since the population in the 1970s was reduced to just 100-200 individuals, this population increase represents a staggering conservation success; a testament to the concerted efforts of the Government of Saint Lucia, the people of
Saint Lucia, and overseas conservation agencies including Durrell.

About the Adaptive management stage
Conservation actions are successfully increasing the species’ numbers and the programme structure is now capable of monitoring and adapting to new or re-emerging threats to the species.

Phase III: Long-term Management

Phase III: Long-term Management

Once a species reaches this phase the population recovery is well underway but the sustainability and long-term robustness of the programme needs to be ensured.

Minimum management

Minimum management

2009

Following the 2007 – 2009 island wide survey of the Saint Lucia Amazon parrot, which illustrated a large increase in the population size of the species, it was recommended that monitoring for the species should be reduced to every 3 years.

In recognition of the success of conservation efforts on the ground in Saint Lucia, it is decided that the captive breeding programme in Jersey should be wound down as the recovery of this species in the wild negates the need for a back-up population.

 

About the Minimum management stage
Moving towards sustainability, the intensive actions are scaled back to minimum levels of effort required to meet conservation targets.

Capacity-building

Capacity-building

2009

Capacity building has been ongoing with this programme since the first field surveys were conducted by David Jeggo in partnership with the Saint Lucia Government Forest Department staff in 1975. During the latest island wide survey, further training was delivered to field staff including identification of forest birds, use of GPS devices and use of protocols for field surveys and sampling. Detailed presentations along with field protocols were shared with staff at the Saint Lucia Forest Department.

About the Capacity-building stage
The capacity building activities within the programme enter the final stage and local partner(s) lead the strategic and operational management of programme.

Final evaluation

Final evaluation

2011

A report is published reviewing the efforts of the conservation programme over the last 30 years and provides assessments to determine the impact of these conservation efforts on the species. Further conservation recommendations are made to the Saint Lucian Government which is commended for its commitment to the conservation of the St Lucia Amazon parrot. Future recommendations include zoning of the forest in terms of its management and protection centered around nesting areas for the parrot, restoring native trees in these priority areas, encourage landowners owning suitable habitat outside the reserve to manage these areas to suit the parrot’s needs and to prohibit the extraction of large tree species which provide nesting sites.

About the Final evaluation stage
A detailed programme evaluation reviews progress towards conservation targets, final responsibilities are passed onto local partners and a new long-term action plan is agreed.

Phase IV: Watching Brief

Phase IV: Watching Brief

This phase signals the exit point for Durrell as a species reaches the end of its survival journey.

Watching brief

Watching brief

2012

Durrell continues to provide the Saint Lucia Forestry Department with support and advice on the continued monitoring and implementation of conservation actions for the species through reviews and technical reports.

About the Watching brief stage
Durrell steps back from the programme and provides technical support to local partners on request.

Population numbers

1975


Rapid assessment


Phase I: Assessment & Planning

1975


Rapid response


Phase I: Assessment & Planning

1975


Stakeholder engagement


Phase I: Assessment & Planning

1977


Full assessment


Phase I: Assessment & Planning

1979


Planning & partnership


Phase I: Assessment & Planning

1980


Trialling actions


Phase II: Intensive Care

1989


Scaling up actions


Phase II: Intensive Care

1996


Intensive management


Phase II: Intensive Care

2007


Adaptive management


Phase II: Intensive Care

2009


Minimum management


Phase III: Long-term Management

2009


Capacity-building


Phase III: Long-term Management

2011


Final evaluation


Phase III: Long-term Management

2012


Watching brief


Phase IV: Watching Brief

Phase I


Assessment
& Planning


Stages 1 - 5

Phase II


Intensive
Care


Stages 6 - 9

Phase III


Long-term Management


Stages 10 - 12

Phase IV


Watching
Brief


Stage 13