The main two parrots protected by the organization are the scarlet and great green macaws. The scarlet macaw (ara macaw) can be recognized by its beautiful colored feathers of red, yellow and blue with a shade of green in between. The great green macaw (ara ambiguus) is the largest parrot and actually the third heaviest species in the world. The name gives it away, but it is recognized by its green feathers with a turquoise shade on the tips and its red forehead. While both species are internationally classified as endangered, due to the increasing trade in tropical birds, the great green macaw is in particular danger of extinction with a wild population estimated to less than 1,000. The scarlet macaw is a popular species to keep as pet or for captive breeding, while the great green macaw has a more nervous nature and thus rarely seen as a pet. However, one of the main reasons for their endangerment, besides the wild bird trade, is habitat loss. Logging, gold mining, hunting and agriculture all have had an impact on the macaw habitats. Thus natural reservations have crucial importance to the protection and future of all kinds of tropical bird native to the country.
The project works in several locations across Costa Rica. While the original breeding center in Alajuela was closed in 2012, a new center was opened in Punta Islita in December 2013. Next to this, the release sites where the macaws are introduced to their natural habitat are located across Costa Rica, including Punta Islita, Manzanillo and Punta Banco.
The macaws that arrive at the project include confiscated birds, former pets that have been donated, and birds that have been raised at the center. They are bred at the center, where they are taken care of until they are considered ready for release into their natural habitat. The project applies a "soft method," meaning that the birds will experience a gradual re-introduction to their release, which can take several months. They are still being fed after release at certain monitor points, which assures that they stay safe and healthy.