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Amazona barbadensis

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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

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B1ab(i,ii,iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2013-11-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S.
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.
Justification:
This species has a small range within which trade and habitat loss and possibly introduced mammalian predators are likely to be causing declines (Collar et al. 1992). This combination qualifies it as Vulnerable.

History:
2012 Vulnerable

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Amazona barbadensis has a disjunct range with seven genetically isolated populations in northern coastal Venezuela (Falcón, Lara, Anzoátegui and Sucre) and the islands of Margarita, La Blanquilla, Curaçao and Bonaire (Caribbean Netherlands) (Rodríguez-Ferraro 2009). References to the presence of a wild parrot population on 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). It is now extinct on Aruba (to Netherlands). The mainland population seems low, while numbers on the islands (1,600 on Margarita in 2008 [Briceño-Linares et al. 2011], 100 on La Blanquilla in 1996-1998 [Rodríguez-Ferraro and Sanz 2007], and 650-800 on Bonaire in 2012 [Department of Resources and Planning, Bonaire per R. Martin and S. Williams in litt. 2012]) appear to fluctuate, but have increased on Margarita from 750 birds in 1989 (Sanz and Grajal 1998). In 1992, 12 captive-reared birds were reintroduced to Margarita, with some success (Sanz and Grajal 1998).
Countries:
Native:
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
Regionally extinct:
Aruba; Curaçao
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The species's island populations total over 1,300 individuals (over 910 on Margarita, fewer than 80 on Blanquilla and over 400 on Bonaire), and it also occurs on mainland Venezuela. Its population is placed in the band 2,500-9,999 individuals, equating to 1,667-6,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 1,500-7,000 mature individuals.
Population Trend: Decreasing

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

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is widely exploited for trade, which serves 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). However, the main threat is from poaching for pets and the pet trade (C.J. Sharpe in litt. 2011). In some areas, it is hunted for allegedly damaging crops (Rodríguez and Rojas-Suárez 1995, Snyder et al. 2000). 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 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, but legal protection in Venezuela is not enforced (C. J. Sharpe, J. P. Rodríguez and F. Rojas-Suárez in litt. 1999). It occurs in Morrocoy, Cerro El Copey, Laguna de la Restinga and Washington-Slagbaai National Parks. In addition, Venezuelan NGO Provita has established the 700 ha Chacaracual Community Conservation Area (C. J. Sharpe in litt. 2011). 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). 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 have been 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 suffered higher rates of poaching. The repair of natural nesting cavities has proved more successful (Sanz et al. 2003). 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), whilst promoting structured captive breeding programmes. Deploy anti-poaching measures in known breeding areas (A. O. Debrot in litt. 1999, 2007). On Bonaire, establish protected areas of key breeding, roosting and feeding areas and promote habitat restoration (A. O. Debrot in litt. 1999, 2007).  Explore potential for reintroduction to Aruba where suitable habitat is thought to exist (R. Martin and S. Williams in litt. 2012)


Citation: BirdLife International 2013. Amazona barbadensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 24 November 2014.
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