The Ara Project incorporates breeding techniques and aviary management in order to carry out controlled release programs in conjunction with Costa Rican wildlife laws imposed by MINAET. The Ara Project has released a total of 80 Scarlet Macaws on its release sites. The Ara Project aims to start a Great Green Macawreintroduction program in 2011. This will be Costa Rica's and the world's first official reintroduction of the species.
In the 80's retired American expat couple Margot and Richard Frisius started a licensed zoological park to take care of parrotsconfiscated by the government or disowned by private owners. In 1992 they officially started a breeding program to participate in macaw conservation, resulting in the establishment of the non-profit organization formerly known as "Amigos de las Aves" (Friends of the Birds). Over the years they created what has become the biggest collection of Great Green Macaws in captivity and, upon acquiring a breeding stock of sufficient genetic diversity, a successful Scarlet Macaw reintroduction program.
In 2008 Margot Frisius died and the Frisius family decided to guarantee the continuation of the program by handing over the organization to the trust fund known since 2009 as "The Ara Project". The Ara Project has a new approach to the conservation of macaws, while respecting the vision of the Frisiuses and maintaining their successful techniques based on years of experience of breeding and releasing macaws.