No action is too big or too small when it comes to nature conservation! Foundation National Park Aruba (FPNA) and Aruba Birdlife Conservation (ABC) are excited to have been able to work with local resident Enrique to ensure the safety and survival of a pair of Shoco with whom he shares his property.
Enrique commissioned one of our Artificial Shoco Burrows, which was recently installed on the terrain and his Shoco neighbors seem very grateful with the kind gesture. When asked: Why did you approach FPNA? Enrique replied: “I always believe that nature is forever, and we must respect that at all costs. When I saw how blessed I was with Shocos on my land I knew that I needed to dedicate some space for them to live a happy life. I’m very grateful with the help from FPNA and ABC in making a Shoco safe zone on my terrain.” Nature belongs to everyone. Together we can ensure its protection and survival, for the benefit of present and future generations.
Shoco or Aruban Burrowing Owl’s population has greatly diminished and is now endangered, with estimates of less than 150 pairs remaining. Threats include over-development and the invasive boa constrictor. Efforts are being made to ensure that it does not go extinct. The ‘Shoco’ was made one of Aruba’s National Symbols on February 2012. It also appears on Aruba’s Postal Stamps and Currency. The year 2012 was declared to be the year of the ‘Shoco’ and for the Aruban Burrowing Owl to be nominated as Aruba’s National Bird. The island’s terrestrial protected area, Parke Nacional Arikok, is also an important refuge where the population can recover and the staff is actively involved in conservation efforts.
Teaming up with Tierra del Sol
In 2016 Aruba Birdlife Conservation and National Park Aruba formed a partnership to rescue the Shoco from extinction. They searched for an international partner and invited the Global Owl Project to join in their endeavor. A plan was made and together they then approached Cisco Quant, General Manager of Tierra del Sol with the request to partner in Aruba’s first Shoco Conservation Project.
A fundamental aspect of the Shoco Conservation Project entails offering the Shocos artificial burrows which are strategically placed at safe locations. Over a period of two years, 22 artificial burrows were placed at such safe locations around the Tierra del Sol Golf Course. And the good news is that the Shocos love their new artificial burrows. The partners agreed that the time had come to launch this unique project in November 2019. Tierra del Sol was ready to serve as the primary example of the Aruba Shoco Conservation Project.
Our Governor Alfonso Boekhoudt is a profound nature lover who has taken an interest in the Shoco Conservation Project from day 1. At that time the Governor paid an informal visit at Tierra Del Sol to be informed in detail on the progress made. During this visit he discovered that a pair of Shocos had moved in at Hole # 14, yes, at Tierra del Sol’s signature golf hole! It goes without saying that it was this artificial burrow site which was chosen for the launch.