When the natural disaster, hurricane Maria, struck Puerto Rico in 2017, it uprooted electrical poles and pushed the country into blackouts [VIDEO]. Simultaneously, it uprooted trees and destroyed the forest cover putting at risk the future of the Endangered Species of Puerto Rican parrots. More than half the population of these birds might have perished when they lost their natural habitats and sources of food in the hurricane.

NBC News provides shocking statistics.

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It seems in the tropical forest of El Yunque, there used to be a handful of 56 parrots and only two survived the wrath of the hurricane. The condition is similar in other forests.

Scientists have said that there are some newborns but these will be released into the wild only when it is safe because the species continues to be in danger. Gustavo Olivieri, an official of the government of Puerto Rico admits - "we have a lot of work to do."

Hurricane Maria is not the only factor

The situation calls for introspection and a detailed study of how the number of the endangered species of Puerto Rican parrots has declined. Hurricane Maria is a factor but not the only one. NBC News says that Federal and local scientists will meet next month to debate the subject because the numbers of these parrots have dropped from more than 1 million in the 1800s to just 13 birds during the 1970s. This could be a result of cleaning out forests in the name of development.

The authorities are alive to the problems and various breeding centers are trying to improve the numbers.

However, before releasing them into the wild, scientists want to ensure that the forests can support them in terms of food and safe shelter. Incidentally, the Puerto Rican Amazon is the only remaining native parrot of the country. These birds grow to nearly a foot in length, usually mate for life and reproduce once a year. Hence, increasing the count will be a long drawn process.

The birds need safe shelters

According to Daily Mail UK, the loss of forests has a direct bearing on the survival chances of the endangered species of Puerto Rican parrots. The trees must be able to protect the birds from predators like hawks. Therefore, trees that are more hurricane resistant more would be required. In the opinion of scientists, a large enough canopy of greenery in the form of leaves and branches is necessary for the survival of the birds. Otherwise, they will become easy targets for predators. Hurricane Maria has disturbed the lives of the people and displaced them from their homes. It also unbalanced the ecosystem.