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Aratinga solstitialis

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA AVES PSITTACIFORMES PSITTACIDAE

Scientific Name: Aratinga solstitialis
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Name/s:
English Sun Parakeet
Taxonomic Notes: Aratinga solstitialis (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993; Stotz et al. 1996) has been split into A. solstitialis and A. pintoi by SACC (2008); this treatment is under review by the BirdLife Taxonomic Working Group.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered A2d+4d; C2a(i) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2013-11-01
Assessor/s: BirdLife International
Reviewer/s: Butchart, S.
Contributor/s: Arndt, T., Gilardi, J., Pracontal, N., Santos, M., Silveira, L., Zimmer, K., Gilardi, J., Laranjeiras, T. & Orsi, T.
Facilitator/s: Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Mahood, S., Sharpe, C J & Symes, A.
Justification:
This fairly recently-split species is listed as Endangered owing to a very rapid reduction in its population size during the last three decades. Although it was formerly fairly common, trapping for the cagebird trade has extirpated it from much of its former range and it is now in urgent need of effective protection.

History:
2012 Endangered

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Aratinga solstitialis is restricted to central Guyana and Roraima state, Brazil, and may previously have occurred in Surinam (Silveira et al. 2005). It is considered hypothetical in Venezuela on the basis of one sight record. Though it was fairly common until the 1970s in the Rupununi-Roraima savannas of western Guyana and adjacent Brazil, it has since been extirpated there, presumably by trappers, and it is now very scarce or absent across its former range. In Brazil it was recorded from the Mau river, Contão Cotingo river and Maracá Ecological Station (M. Persio in litt. 2005) during the 1990s. Flocks of up to 12 birds have been recorded at the Terra Indígena Raposa Serra do Sol, and along the road from Santa Elena de Uairén (Venezuela) to Boa Vista, 50 km south of the border. Birds have been frequently found (in flocks with >15 individuals) at five localities inside São Marcos and Raposa/Serra do Sol indigenous lands (Laranjeiras et al. 2011). Records in the Sipalwini savannas relate to A. (s.) maculata (Mittermeier et al. 2010, T. Orsi in litt. 2012) which is likely to be split. There are no recent records in all other localities in Brazil where the species was found in/before the 1990s, including at Maracá Ecological Station, despite surveys in 2010 and despite local indications of its presence there around 2000 (Laranjeiras et al. 2011). Several historic localities no longer contain dry foothill forest that the species apparently requires. In Guyana evidence of nesting has been found in the Karasabai area where 50-80 individuals were seen in 2003, and c.25 km from this site there are fairly recent records from Karanambo (c. 30 km from the Brazilian border at Bonfim), and on the west bank of Demerara in 2006 (T. Arndt in litt. 2007, Guyana Amazon Tropical Birds Society in litt. 2007).  Since the early 1990s records are limited to only nine localities, and there are thought to be fewer than 1,000 individuals in Brazil (T. Orsi and L. F. Silveira in litt. 2012). The total population probably now numbers no more than a couple of thousand individuals at the very most, but probably fewer, with at least 90% of these in Brazil, within a restricted, decreasing and fragmented range (Laranjeiras et al. 2011).

Countries:
Native:
Brazil; Guyana
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population is estimated to number 1,000-2,499 mature individuals, based on recent records. This equates to 1,500-3,749 individuals in total, rounded here to 1,500-4,000 individuals. Since the early 1990s records are limited to only nine localities, and there are thought to be fewer than 1,000 individuals in Brazil (J. Gilardi, T. Orsi and L. F. Silveira in litt. 2012). The total population probably now numbers no more than a couple of thousand individuals at the very most, but probably fewer, with at least 90% of these in Brazil.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is restricted to dry, semi-deciduous forests on the slopes of north and north-east Roraima, and although it uses forest edge it appears to require quite a large quantity of intact forest (L. Silveira in litt. 2007). Contrary to former opinion, birds only use savannah while flying from one hill area to another (T. Arndt in litt. 2007, L. Silveira in litt. 2007).

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Due to high demand in the pet trade this once common species has declined dramatically during the last twenty years (J. Gilardi in litt. 2007). It has been heavily exported from Guyana during this time, leading its virtual extirpation from that country. Trappers from Guyana and French Guiana have since travelled over the border to Brazil to buy birds for export (T. Arndt in litt. 2007, L. Silveira in litt. 2007). An annual export quota of 600 birds was set by Guyana in the 1980s and it is thought that more than 2,200 were imported into the United States between 1981 and 1985 (J. Gilardi in litt. 2007). Trade is ongoing, and due to the ease with which birds can be attracted to bait (e.g. corn) and the large distances they will travel it is easy to trap all the individuals in an area (J. Gilardi in litt. 2007).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
It is very common in captivity, but it is not known what percentage of this population are hybrids between A. (s.) solstitialis and A. (s.) maculata (Silveira et al. 2005, L. F. Silveira in litt. 2012).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Consider listing the species on CITES Appendix I. Prevent cross-border trade immediately. Work with the indigenous inhabitants of the Terra Indígena Raposa Serra do Sol and the Amerindian Community in Karasabai Village to prevent trapping and protect suitable habitat. Survey extensively to locate other important additional sub-populations.  Establish 'pure bred' captive-breeding lines.

Citation: BirdLife International 2013. Aratinga solstitialis. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 19 April 2014.
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