JUANA DÍAZ, PUERTO RICO (July 28, 2023) – The Borrando Huella Sembrando Hábitat (BHSH) Reforestation Team at the Bayer Crop Science site in Juana Díaz delivered ten nests to the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (PRDNER) to support the Puerto Rican Parrot Recovery Program just in time for this year’s mating season. The donation amends a formalized a collaborative agreement through a memorandum of understanding between the two entities signed on September 2021.
The initial agreement stated that the PRDNER was going to provide Bayer with seeds of the forest’s native trees, which the company would germinate and harvest in the tree horticulture greenhouse that Bayer uses for these community extension efforts and initiatives. However, the devastation caused by Hurricane Fiona, affecting the Island one year later, warranted a plan change.
“We were unable to deliver the trees we were sowing at the Juana Díaz greenhouse; they were lost due to Hurricane Fiona,” explained Alfredo Torres-Berrocales, Nursery Design Operations Technician at Bayer in Puerto Rico and BHSH team member. “So, we trained with the Department to create the artificial nests used in their captivity recovery program. We studied the design and contributed some improvements to it. We collaborated by designing, building, and delivering ten nests, just in time for the parrots’ mating season.”
According to the PRDNER, the Puerto Rican parrot, Amazona vittata, is in danger of extinction due to various threats, ranging from habitat loss due to deforestation, catastrophic natural phenomena, illegal hunting, and many others. Efforts to protect the Puerto Rican parrot began in the late 1940s. In 1968, a cooperative program was initiated between the Department of Natural Resources, the Federal Fish and Wildlife Service, the Federal Forest Service, and The World Wildlife Fund for the recovery of the species. The recovery program keeps adult parrots in captivity with the goal of reproducing them and eventually releasing the offspring in optimal health and age to increase the wild population.
“We constantly change plans because of the weather inclemency in Puerto Rico during hurricane season. Biodiversity is one of the pillars of our organization and our Power Sustainability corporate program, and I am glad we could adjust and move forward,” said Frederick Ortiz, Product Development Center leader at Bayer Crop Science Puerto Rico. “All of us at Bayer –as individuals and as a company– have always valued our endemic animals. I reiterate that it’s important that we get involved in discussing these issues and participate in these social and environmental initiatives. I congratulate the team for their adaptability and commitment to achieving this goal.”
In 2018, multinational company Bayer Group launched its corporate program “Planet Impact” to significantly intensify its sustainability efforts worldwide. Since then, the local operation in Juana Díaz, Bayer Crop Science Puerto Rico, has conducted different initiatives that include but are not limited to restoring and reforesting natural habitats and preserving natural resources in and around its farms.