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Amazona barbadensis 

Scope: Global
Language: English
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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Psittaciformes Psittacidae

Scientific Name: Amazona barbadensis
Species Authority: (Gmelin, 1788)
Common Name(s):
English Yellow-shouldered Amazon, Yellow-shouldered Parrot
Spanish Amazona de Espalda Amarilla, Amazona Hombrogualda, Cotorra Cabeciamarilla
Taxonomic Source(s): del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
Identification information: 33 cm.  Overall green parrot with white forehead and lores.  Yellow crown and ear-coverts around bare white orbital patch.  Yellow chin.  Bluish tinge on lower cheeks and around chin.  Yellow shoulders and thighs. Red speculum.  Dark blue tips to flight feathers.  Voice  Noisy and raucous, including dry rattling screeet and trilling scree-ee-ee-ak.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B1ab(i,ii,iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Rodríguez, J., Rojas-Suárez, F., Sharpe, C J & Rodríguez-Ferraro, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Capper, D., Clay, R., Isherwood, I., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A., Wege, D. & Wheatley, H.
Justification:
This species has a small range within which trade and habitat loss and possibly introduced mammalian predators have caused declines.  It is currently listed as Vulnerable on this basis, but may warrant reassessment in the near future if declines are found to have ceased and on the basis of revised calculation of the Extent of Occurrence.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Amazona barbadensis has a disjunct range with seven genetically isolated populations in northern Venezuela (Lara (Saroche, Carora), Falcón (Dabajuro, Casigua), Anzoátegui (around Píritu and Barcelona) and Sucre (Araya peninsula)) and the islands of Margarita, La Blanquilla, Curaçao and Bonaire (to Netherlands) (Rodríguez-Ferraro 2009).  It is currently extinct in the Paraguaná peninsula on mainland Venezuela (Briceño-Linares et. al. 2011).  References to the presence of a wild parrot population on Curaçao are made in an 18th century historical source (A. O. Debrot in litt. 1999, 2007); there have been modern reports since 1988 (De Boer 2008, A. Rodríguez-Ferraro in litt. 2012), although it has been suggested that these may be released or escaped captive individuals (Williams 2012).  It became extinct on Aruba (to Netherlands) around 1950 (Rojas-Suárez and Rodríguez 2015).  Numbers on the islands appear to fluctuate, but have increased on Margarita from 750 birds in 1989 (Sanz and Grajal 1998) to around 2000 on Margarita in 2015 (Rojas-Suárez and Rodríguez 2015).  The population on Bonaire was estimated to number 400 individuals in 2006 (Williams and Martin 2006) and 650-800 individuals in 2012 (Department of Resources and Planning, Bonaire per R. Martin and S. Williams in litt. 2012).  The mainland population was considered to be in decline in 2003 (Hilty 2003).  Habitat continues to be lost in the eastern part of the mainland range (V. Sanz in litt. 2016) and the population in Araya (eastern Venezuela) is thought to be in decline owing to poaching and conversion of habitat to agriculture (V. Sanz in litt. 2016), so it is probable that the mainland population continues to decline.
Countries occurrence:
Native:
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of (Venezuela (mainland), Venezuelan Antilles)
Regionally extinct:
Aruba; Curaçao
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:11000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):YesExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Number of Locations:6-10Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Upper elevation limit (metres):450
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The species's island populations appear to fluctuate, but total around 2000 on Margarita in 2015 (Rojas-Suárez & Rodríguez 2015), around 100 on Blanquilla (J. P. Rodriguez in litt. 2016) and 400-450 on Bonaire (Rojas-Suárez & Rodríguez 2015).  The mainland population has not been estimated but a recent analysis suggested that it is likely to be very low or restricted (Ferrer-Paris et al. 2014) and it probably numbers in the hundreds (J. P. Rodriguez in litt. 2016), although it has been suggested that it may number over 5,000 (V. Sanz in litt. 2016).  The total population is therefore likely to number between 2,590 and 8,470 individuals, equating to 1,727 - 5647 mature individuals, rounded here to 1,700-5,600 mature individuals.

Trend Justification:  Numbers on the islands appear to fluctuate, but have increased on Margarita from 750 birds in 1989 (Sanz and Grajal 1998) to around 2,000 on Margarita in 2015 (Rojas-Suárez & Rodríguez 2015).  The population on Bonaire is increasing and was estimated to number 400 individuals in 2006 (Williams and Martin 2006) and 650-800 individuals in 2012 (Department of Resources and Planning, Bonaire per R. Martin and S. Williams in litt. 2012).  The mainland population was considered to be in decline in 2003 (Hilty 2003).  Habitat continues to be lost in the eastern part of the mainland range (V. Sanz in litt. 2016) and the population in Araya (eastern Venezuela) is thought to be in decline owing to poaching and conversion of habitat to agriculture (V. Sanz in litt. 2016), so it is probable that the mainland population continues to decline.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:1700-5600Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
No. of subpopulations:2-100Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No
No. of individuals in largest subpopulation:1-89

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It inhabits xerophytic vegetation, frequenting desert shrublands dominated by cacti and low thorn-bushes or trees.  Nesting takes place in cavities in trees, cacti or cliffs, generally from March to August (Sanz and Rodríguez-Ferraro 2006).  Average clutch size is 3.38 eggs per nest, and most eggs survive until hatching.  It tends to roost communally in tall trees, with groups of up to 700 birds recorded (Juniper and Parr 1998).

Systems:Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):12.3
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The main threat is from poaching for pets and the pet trade (C.J. Sharpe in litt. 2011, Rojas-Suárez & Rodríguez 2015).  Yellow-shouldered Amazons are widely exploited for trade, serving a strong internal pet market (many chicks taken in Bonaire are believed to end up in Curaçao [R. Martin and S. Williams in litt. 2007, Martin 2009, Williams 2009]).  Tourist and associated developments are destroying habitat, especially on Margarita, where the principal breeding, roosting and feeding-sites are threatened by unregulated mining for construction materials (Collar 1997a, Snyder et al. 2000).  In the eastern part of the mainland range, habitat is being lost through extraction and urban and industrial development (V. S. D'Angelo in litt. 2016).  In some areas, it is hunted for allegedly damaging crops (Rodríguez and Rojas-Suárez 1995, Snyder et al. 2000, Briceño-Linares et al. 2011).  On Bonaire, natural vegetation has been heavily degraded historically for timber and charcoal production, and more recently through intensive grazing by goats and donkeys, drastically reducing natural food species diversity and availability (A. O. Debrot in litt. 1999, 2007, Williams 2009).  The impoverished food resource and lack of mature trees for nest sites are believed to limit effective population size (Williams 2009).  Introduced mammalian predators and the destruction of nest sites resulting from poaching activity also appear to limit its reproductive potential on Bonaire (R. Martin and S. Williams in litt. 2007, Martin 2009, Williams 2009).  Negative attitudes due to its perception as a crop pest in agricultural and urban areas of Bonaire may encourage persecution and undermine support for conservation efforts (R. Martin and S. Williams in litt. 2012).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix I and II. Legal protection in Venezuela is weakly enforced (C. J. Sharpe, J. P. Rodríguez and F. Rojas-Suárez in litt. 1999, Rojas-Suárez & Rodríguez 2015).  It occurs in Morrocoy, Cerro El Copey, Laguna de la Restinga and Washington-Slagbaai National Parks.  In addition, in 2009 Venezuelan NGO Provita has established the 700 ha Chacaracual Community Conservation Area (C. J. Sharpe in litt. 2011).  In 1992, 12 captive-reared birds were reintroduced to Margarita, with some success (Sanz and Grajal 1998).  In 2006 and 2007 reforestation of the Washington-Slagbaai park began by successful reintroduction of rare native drought resistant berry and fruit bearing tree species.  In 2007 the fence to exclude goats from a large section of the park was restored (A. O. Debrot in litt. 2007) but goat removal has not yet commenced (S. Williams in litt. 2012).  There is a conservation and awareness-raising campaign on Margarita and La Blanquilla (Snyder et al. 2000; Rojas-Suárez and Rodríguez 2015).  The reintroduction programme on Margarita was preceded by five years of environmental education, public awareness and ecological studies (Sanz and Grajal 1998).  On Bonaire, awareness campaigns began in 1998-1999 and are ongoing, in combination with ecological research activity.  An amnesty of captive birds took place in 2002, with all declared birds identified using a numbered ring on the leg to aid in anti-poaching law enforcement (R. Martin and S. Williams in litt. 2007).  In 2011 and 2012 24 captive reared birds were released on Bonaire and there are plans to release another 20 (R. Martin and S. Williams in litt. 2012).  People still keeping illegal birds can be fined up to $550 (Williams 2010).  Supplemental feeding has also been carried out during extreme droughts (A. O. Debrot in litt. 1999, 2007).  In 2010 the NGO Echo was established on Bonaire to address threats through research and monitoring.  The Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance is producing a species management plan for the Caribbean Netherlands (R. Martin and S. Williams in litt. 2012).  On Margarita artificial nests were introduced but were used very infrequently (J. P. Rodriguez in litt. 2016) and suffered higher rates of poaching.  The repair of natural nesting cavities has proved more successful (Sanz et al. 2003) and Provita carry out guarding of nest sites to protect nestlings from poachers and allow them to fledge. Genetic studies are being carried out to resolve the taxonomic status of subpopulations (R. Martin and S. Williams in litt. 2007, 2012).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey to determine distribution and status throughout range.  Monitor key populations.  Regulate captive populations and reduce poaching incentives (A. O. Debrot in litt. 1999, 2007).  Strengthen and sustain anti-poaching measures in known breeding areas (A. O. Debrot in litt. 1999, 2007), as well as conservation education programmes in neighbouring communities (Rojas-Suárez and Rodríguez 2015).  On Bonaire, establish protected areas of key breeding, roosting and feeding areas and promote habitat restoration (A. O. Debrot in litt. 1999, 2007).  On Margarita, establish a protected area in the Macanao Peninsula to protect remnant dry forests along creek beds, which are used for roosting and breeding (Rojas-Suárez and Rodríguez 2015).  Explore potential for reintroduction to Aruba where suitable habitat is thought to exist (R. Martin and S. Williams in litt. 2012)

Amended [top]

Amended reason: Map revised.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2017. Amazona barbadensis. (amended version published in 2016) The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T22686325A110628721. . Downloaded on 25 June 2017.
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