GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! It's World Cup season and the stakes could not be any higher for the countries still competing. Brasil 2014 has proven to be brutal with the humidity, the heat, and the competition. But, Brazil is not the only South American country to tout these exotic conditions. Peru, to Brazil’s west, is also thick with Amazon rainforest and all creatures tropical—including the macaw.
Tambopata National Reserve, Peru, is home to the Macaw Project—a non-profit aimed to educate on and preserve macaws. PhD candidate, George Olah, has been influential in this effort and is now raising research dollars through the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo. Olah hails from Budapest, Hungary, attends Australian National University, in Canberra, Australia, and works with the Macaw Project in Tambopata, Peru. But greater than his world traveler status is his enamorment with these birds, as validated by his copious research spanning the last four years.
The Macaw Project, as found on Indiegogo, is to raise funds for a 26-minute documentary about the Peruvian Macaws. This documentary will be from the researchers’ perspectives—their findings, their average day, and the threats both internal and external to this region. Olah wants to increase public awareness through an educational documentary to positively impact the species and region. “Parrots are one of the most endangered bird groups on Earth and people will know the story behind this”, says Olah.
Mr. Olah is working with the award-winning filmmakers, Filmjungle.eu Society, from Hungary, to produce the Macaw Project documentary. He recognizes that film is the best media for educating the general public—especially on research topics found only in scholarly journals. “There are not many researchers out there that are also into nature film-making. With this project we want to fuse research with documentaries.”
For those willing to support this cause you can expect projects perks such as your name in the documentary’s credits, discounted rainforest tours, and a special first viewing of the documentary.
The plan is to release a version in English shortly followed by a Spanish version. The Macaw Project will be one documentary in a series of documentaries (Olah hinted that the next one will be about the Caribbean macaw population). He plans for the films to be part of an awareness campaign. There will be special viewings of the documentary, school visits, and whatever it takes to get the word out.
When asked about his crowdfunding campaign, specifically some of the challenges he has faced, Olah stated that he was amazed with the initial outpouring of support and donations but then saw an abrupt lull in the flow of donations after a few days. This is typical for most crowdfunding campaigns. The peak donation periods are within the first few and last few days of a campaign. “The stuggle is that you need a lot of effort from social media people to keep the momentum”, says Olah. Overall, the campaign is working, “we knew that it was not going to be easy to get funded but so far we are thrilled by the great interest towards our project.”
Saving a species and educating the POP-ulation on an ecosystem is awesome. Good luck Olah!
Macaw Project Indiegogo Campaign Page
Macaw Project Website