El Yunque National Park Quarter
Are you ready for a little trip to the tropics? How about Puerto Rico? The 11th quarter in the America the Beautiful Quarters© Program honors El Yunque National Forest, located in Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory in the tropical Caribbean Islands. You'll find the Coqui frog and the Puerto Rican parrot featured on El Yunque's quarter.
This parrot, a symbol of Puerto Rican history and national pride, is a native of Puerto Rico, not naturally found anywhere else in the world. Yet it was once in danger of becoming extinct. The species was listed as endangered as the total population dropped below 25 birds.
How did this bird become so rare, even in its native land? It was facing dangers and obstacles like predators, competitors, hurricanes, hunting, and most importantly, destruction of its forest habitat.
To address this crisis, a breeding program was started in 1972. The program grew to include several agencies working together to increase the population of this parrot. And conserving its rainforest habitat has the benefit of conserving other important resources, such as water, soils, and forests.
As a result of this cooperation among agencies, the Puerto Rican parrot has a good chance of being restored. In 2009, there were more than 50 wild parrots between El Yunque and a neighboring forest, and about 245 more being raised in captivity.
Find out more about this coin on the El Yunque National Forest page.