Amazona versicolor


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

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

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.

2012 Vulnerable

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).

Saint Lucia
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.
Population Trend: Increasing

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

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. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 29 August 2015.
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