Amazona viridigenalis


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Amazona viridigenalis
Species Authority: (Cassin, 1853)
Common Name(s):
English Red-crowned Amazon, Red-crowned Parrot, Green-cheeked Amazon
Spanish Amapola, Amazona Tamaulipeca, Loro Cabeza Roja, Loro Famaulipeco

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered A2bcd+3bcd+4bcd ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2013-11-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Brush, T., Enkerlin-Hoeflich, E. & Navarro, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Capper, D., Isherwood, I., Sharpe, C J, Stattersfield, A., Taylor, J.
The combination of high levels of exploitation for the cagebird trade, long-term habitat loss and reduced density estimates indicates that this species is declining very rapidly. It consequently qualifies as Endangered.

2012 Endangered

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Amazona viridigenalis is locally and seasonally fairly common to common on the Atlantic slope of north-east Mexico (Howell and Webb 1995a), mostly in Tamaulipas and San Luis Potosí, with small colonies in extreme north-east Querétaro (A. G. Navarro in litt. 1998). It formerly occurred in Nuevo León and Veracruz, but there have been no records of wild birds since 1945 and 1960 respectively. In 1992-1994, densities in one area were estimated at 5.7 birds/km2, indicating a wild population of 3,000-6,500 birds (E. C. Enkerlin-Hoeflich in litt. 1994, Enkerlin-Hoeflich 1995). This compares with 25.2 birds/km2 reported in the 1970s (Castro 1976). The population recently established in urban areas of the Lower Rio Grande Valley (Texas), USA, is considered by some to consist of wild birds (T. Brush in litt. 2003). Introduced or feral populations are also established (and mostly increasing) in Florida and California (USA), Puerto Rico (to USA), O'ahu (Hawaii) and several parts of Mexico (Enkerlin-Hoeflich and Hogan 1997).

Puerto Rico; United States
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: In 1992-1994, estimated densities in one area in Mexico indicated a wild population of 3,000-6,500 birds (E. C. Enkerlin-Hoeflich in litt. 1994). This estimate roughly equates to 2,000-4,300 mature individuals.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It inhabits lush areas in arid lowlands and foothills, especially gallery forest, deciduous woodland and dry, open pine-oak woodland on ridges up to 1,000 m. Smaller numbers occur in agricultural landscapes with a few large trees. Nests are usually in tree-cavities, with breeding from March-May. Clutches of 2-5 eggs are incubated for 25-31 days (Enkerlin-Hoeflich and Hogan 1997). It is nomadic in winter, with large flocks moving south (and apparently north) and to higher elevations. It feeds largely on the fruits of dominant tree species (Enkerlin-Hoeflich and Hogan 1997).

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): In 1970-1982, 16,490 birds (mostly nestlings) were legally imported into the USA. Illegal exports from Mexico and a pre-export mortality of >50% equates to 5,000 birds per year (Enkerlin-Hoeflich and Hogan 1997). Trappers damage nests when extracting chicks (sometimes felling entire trees), reducing nest-site availability and leading to permanent site abandonment (Snyder et al. 2000). Many gallery forests have been cleared or degraded, with over 80% of Tamaulipas lowlands cleared for agriculture (especially sorghum) and pasture. Habitat is now patchily distributed on cattle-ranches, where trapping pressure is greatest (Enkerlin-Hoeflich and Hogan 1997).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix I (1992) and part of the European Endangered [Species] Programme of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA). It occurs in El Cielo and Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserves (A. G. Navarro in litt. 1998, T. Brush in litt. 2003), but there are only small colonies in Sierra Gorda and its status in El Cielo is unknown (Wege and Long 1995, A. G. Navarro in litt. 1998). Ranchers are increasingly aware of the benefits of maintaining large trees, but this is not reflected in practice.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys to obtain an estimate for the total population size. Monitor populations to determine the extent of declines. Identify the most important nesting aggregations for protection (Enkerlin-Hoeflich and Hogan 1997). Integrate ranchers into efforts to curtail trapping and regenerate habitat (Enkerlin-Hoeflich and Hogan 1997).

Citation: BirdLife International 2013. Amazona viridigenalis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 05 September 2015.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided