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    Mexico Bird Park Re establishes Endangered Species

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    An aviary park in Mexico called "El Nido" (The Nest) is home to 3,000 birds and 320 different species. Among these is the quetzal bird with its lustrous green plumage which was venerated by the Aztecs and Mayans.

    "El Nido" (The Nest) Aviary Park on the outskirts of Mexico City in Ixtapaluca, is successfully reproducing bird species on the verge of extinction in the wild.

    The sanctuary, which is the third largest aviary in Latin America, is home to 3,000 birds and 320 different species, including the endangered quetzal.

    Thanks to pioneering reproduction research programs, the aviary has tripled quetzal numbers in Mexico in the last 25 years.

    The sanctuary has four living quetzals. The quetzal once thrived from Panama to Oaxaca State in humid rainforests.

    But habitat destruction and hunting of the birds for their feathers affected their population.

    The bird park is the first sanctuary to successfully reproduce quetzals in captivity, but they still haven't had success with the harpy eagle.

    [Salvador Figueroa, Biologist]:
    "It took us more than 20 years to develop the skill to develop it [the quetzal]. The pavon, the eternal guardian, today we have three chicks. But the program that still has not produced eggs or chicks is the reproduction of the harpy eagle, but these have been our chief programs. We are talking about more than 20 years of research. It's the only center in the world which has managed to reproduce the quetzal."

    In December 2010, Mexican authorities classified the harpy eagle as specially protected, encouraging researchers at El Nido to try and accelerate the raptor's reintroduction into its natural habitat.

    Apart from species from Mexico and Central America, El Nido also works with birds from diverse habitats from other parts of the world.