Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Psittaciformes Psittacidae

Scientific Name: Amazona versicolor
Species Authority: (Müller, 1776)
Common Name(s):
English St Lucia Amazon, St. Lucia Amazon, Saint Lucia Amazon, Saint Lucia Parrot, St. Lucia Parrot
Spanish Amazona de Santa Lucía
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. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International.
Identification information: 43 cm. Colourful parrot. Blue face and forehead. Red area on breast becoming maroon and mottled on lower breast and belly. Red speculum. Dark blue primaries. Tail tipped yellow. Similar spp. Only parrot on St Lucia. Voice Noisy and raucous screeching. Also purring, cackling, shrieking and honking noises.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable D1+2 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2013-11-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Gilardi, J.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Isherwood, I., Mahood, S., Sharpe, C J, Wege, D.
Conservation action may have saved this species from extinction. Numbers are now increasing and there is some evidence of a small range expansion. However, the area of apparently suitable (but unoccupied) habitat may be decreasing. If this begins to affect occupied habitat, the species may immediately qualify for uplisting to Endangered. At present, its small population size and small range on a single island qualify it as Vulnerable.

Previously published Red List assessments:
2012 Vulnerable (VU)
2008 Vulnerable (VU)
2004 Vulnerable (VU)
2000 Vulnerable (VU)
1996 Vulnerable (VU)
1994 Vulnerable (VU)
1988 Threatened (T)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Amazona versicolor occurs in the central-southern mountains of St Lucia. In 1950, there were 295 km2 of available habitat, but this has been reduced rapidly since the mid-1970s. There have been considerable population declines, but these are being reversed by concerted conservation action. Surveys in 1996 estimated the wild population at c.350-500 individuals (Juniper and Parr 1998), and noted some range expansion (J. D. Gilardi in litt. 1999).

Countries occurrence:
Saint Lucia
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 140
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Number of Locations: 11-100
Continuing decline in number of locations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Lower elevation limit (metres): 500
Upper elevation limit (metres): 900
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population is estimated to number 350-500 individuals, roughly equating to 230-330 mature individuals.

Trend Justification:  There are no new data on population trends, therefore the species is assumed to still be increasing.
Current Population Trend: Increasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 230-330 Continuing decline of mature individuals: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: No
No. of subpopulations: 1 Continuing decline in subpopulations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations: No All individuals in one subpopulation: Yes
No. of individuals in largest subpopulation: 100

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It favours montane, moist primary forest, mainly at 500-900 m, but also forages in secondary growth (Juniper and Parr 1998). It nests in tree-holes, and breeding takes place in February-March or later (Collar 1997a). Breeding success is apparently similar to other Caribbean and mainland Amazona parrots (J. D. Gilardi in litt. 1999).

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

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The human population of St Lucia is growing at a considerable rate, increasing pressure on the forest and resulting in habitat loss (Copsey 1995). Selective logging of mature trees may significantly reduce breeding sites (Juniper and Parr 1998), and hurricanes, hunting and trade pose further threats. There have been recent efforts to lift the moratorium on hunting within forest reserves, which would seriously threaten this species (J. D. Gilardi in litt. 1999).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix I and II. It is protected by domestic legislation (J. D. Gilardi in litt. 1999). Education and awareness programmes have turned the bird into a national symbol. This has successfully eliminated hunting (Juniper and Parr 1998), helped by a moratorium on hunting within forest reserves (J. D. Gilardi in litt. 1999). A captive-breeding programme was established in 1975, and in 1995 a total of 19 young birds had fledged (Copsey 1995).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Maintain the hunting moratorium within all forest reserves. Conduct a basic study of the feeding and breeding ecology. Designate remaining habitat as protected areas. Reassess the objectives of the captive-breeding programme.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2013. Amazona versicolor. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T22686387A48052131. . Downloaded on 09 October 2015.
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