Depto. Biología Animal I, Facultad de Biología, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid E-28040 Spain;
Wild populations of the blue-fronted Amazon (Amazona aestiva) are declining in Central Argentina due to habitat destruction of the Chaco forests and overexploitation for pet trade. An environmental education program was implemented to increase local awareness in the province of Córdoba, where this species is on the verge of local extinction. Two scales at which to apply the program were identified. Locally, the program was focused on rural people living near Chaco forest habitats who sometimes extract wild individuals for the pet market. Regionally, the program was centered on urban inhabitants who buy parrots as pets. The ultimate goal was for both target groups (rural and urban people) to become aware of the blue-fronted Amazon's status and the province of Córdobaa. Program implementation included public presentations to people ranging in age form 5 to 80, a technical report for public outreach, classroom study cards, posters, seminars for educators, talks broadcast by the local radio and TV, and articles published in the local newspaper. Through this program people became interested in the status of this endangered species, which lead to personal commitment to take action and inform other people about this conservation problem. The relationship between urban groups and rural communities was improved in an attempt to help preserve Chaco forests and its endangered species. The Blue-fronted Amazon case is just an example of how the apportionment of educational efforts at local and regional scales can improve the conservation of endangered species and its habitats.
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