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Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

The Hispaniolan Amazon lives in pairs and small flocks, and nests in tree cavities, and sometimes dead tree-stumps and rock crevices (2) (6). Breeding is known from February to May but may extend further into the year (2). Clutches typically contain two to four eggs, and incubation in captivity lasts 24 to 26 days (5) (6). Chicks usually fledge at 10 to 12 weeks of age (6). The Hispaniolan Amazon feeds on the fruits and seeds of palms, cacti and guava, as well as cultivated plants such as bananas and maize (5).
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Description

Like most Amazons, this species is green with some dark edging to the feathers, giving a scaled appearance (4). The forehead is white, bordered by blue, and the ear-coverts are dark blue to black (5). Reddish patches appear on the lower face and throat, the belly and the base of the tail (4) (5). Primary flight feathers and wing-coverts are blue and the green tail has slight yellowish colouration at the tips (4) (6).
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Distribution

Range Description

Amazona ventralis is endemic to Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic) and the associated islands of Grande Cayemite, Gonâve, Beata and Saona (AOU 1998). Introduced populations are established in Puerto Rico (to U.S.A.), and St Croix and St Thomas in the Virgin Islands (to U.S.A.) (AOU 1998). It was common on Hispaniola, but declined significantly during the 20th century. By the 1930s, it was mainly restricted to the interior mountains, where it remains locally fairly common in suitable habitat, particularly within several major forest reserves (Juniper and Parr 1998, Raffaele et al. 1998). Elsewhere, it is now uncommon, rare or absent. The introduced population in Puerto Rico numbers several hundred and is apparently increasing (Juniper and Parr 1998).

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Range

Hispaniola and satellite islands.

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Range

Native to Hispaniola, occurring in both Haiti and the Dominican Republic, as well as the satellite islands of Grande Cayemite, Gonâve, Beata and Saona (2). Populations have also been introduced to Puerto Rico (USA), and St Croix and St Thomas in the Virgin Islands (USA) (2).
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
It inhabits a variety of wooded habitats, from arid palm-savannah to pine and montane humid forest, up to and slightly above 1,500 m (Juniper and Parr 1998). It frequently forages in cultivated lands (AOU 1998), such as banana plantations and maize fields (Collar 1997a). Breeding is known from February to May, but prospecting pairs have been seen in mid-April, suggesting that the season may extend further into the year (Collar 1997a, Juniper and Parr 1998, G. M. Kirwan in litt. 1998). Nests are situated in tree-cavities, and sometimes dead tree-stumps (Collar 1997a, Juniper and Parr 1998, G. M. Kirwan in litt. 1998).


Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Found in a variety of wooded habitats, from arid lowland palm-savannah to pine to more humid montane evergreen forest, up to approximately 1,500 metres above sea level (2) (5). This species often frequents cultivated lands such as banana plantations and maize fields in order to forage (2).
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Amazona ventralis

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


No available public DNA sequences.

Download FASTA File
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Amazona ventralis

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
VU
Vulnerable

Red List Criteria
A2cd+3cd+4cd

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2013

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S.

Contributor/s
Kirwan, G., Woolmer, G. & White, T.

Justification
This species is considered Vulnerable because anecdotal evidence suggests that there has been a rapid population reduction. The size of the population and the exact extent of the decline are unclear, and clarification may lead to the species being reclassified as Near Threatened.


History
  • 2012
    Vulnerable
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Status

Classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List (1) and listed on Appendix II of CITES (3).
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Population

Population
The population size is preliminarily estimated to fall into the band 10,000-19,999 individuals. This equates to 6,667-13,333 mature individuals, rounded here to 6,000-15,000 mature individuals.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
Agricultural conversion and charcoal production have destroyed most suitable habitat. It is also persecuted as a crop-pest, hunted for food and trapped for the local and formerly at least, international cage-bird trade (Juniper and Parr 1998). Trapping of adults and robbing nests for chicks to supply the local pet trade is a particular concern because in some areas most families own a parrot, and these only live a few years before they have to be replaced (G. Woolmer in litt. 2005, T. White in litt. 2012). Moreover, nest-robbing activities frequently result in destruction of the nest cavity or nest tree, further exacerbating loss of nesting habitat to other causes (T. White in litt. 2012).

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This Amazon parrot is thought to have undergone significant declines due to habitat clearance, poaching for food, trapping for the local and international cage-bird trade and shooting as a crop pest (2) (5). Nest poaching is fairly common, even in protected areas, and, in some cases, entire trees are cut down to obtain the nestlings for trade (7). Conversion of land for agriculture and charcoal production have destroyed most suitable habitat (2).
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. An education strategy with community participation has been launched to protect the species (Vásquez et al. 1995). In 1997-1998, 49 captive-reared birds were released and radio-tracked in Parque del Este, Dominican Republic (Vilella et al. 1999). The Loma Charco Azul Biological Reserve, created in 2009, holds populations of the species. Also, recent public education and outreach work, including some enforcement actions, have taken place in several communities surrounding the Parque Nacional Jaragua, near the border with Haiti. In January 2012 there was also a release of 10 captive-reared parrots which had been confiscated as young chicks from nest poachers. These chicks were reared and rehabilitated at the Parque Zoologico Nacional, and successfully released on the grounds of the zoological park (T. White in litt. 2012).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Assess the current size of the population. Establish a comprehensive monitoring programme. Determine the extent of remaining habitat. Determine the impact of the various threats. Enforce the laws and regulations protecting this species and its habitat (Snyder et al. 2000). Encourage better bird-keeping practices to reduce the demand on wild birds and develop a captive breeding programme. Educate public regarding negative impact of native pet trade in the Dominican Republic (T. White in litt. 2012).

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Conservation

The National Aviary and the Sociedad Ornitologica Hispaniola (SOH) have begun an education strategy involving a series of community workshops to improve awareness among communities living near the remaining parrot populations (2) (7). Populations of this parrot receive some protection in protected areas such as Sierra de Bahorucos and Del Este National Parks in the Dominican Republic (2) (7). In 1997 to 1998, 49 captive-reared birds were released and radio-tracked in Del Este National Park, and there is potential for further reintroductions (2). Continued field research is planned for 2007 to determine clutch and brood sizes, and nest success, as well as to further establish the extent of habitat loss and nest poaching on Hispaniola and the patterns of extinction throughout the island. It is hoped that the information gained from such studies will help guide appropriate conservation measures and to emphasize the seriousness of the decline of the Hispaniolan Amazon to local people and to governments (7).
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Wikipedia

Hispaniolan Amazon

The Hispaniolan Amazon or Hispaniolan Parrot (Amazona ventralis) is a species of parrot in the Psittacidae family. It is found on Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic), and has been introduced to Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The main features that differentiate it from other amazons are the white forehead, pale beak, white eye-ring, blue ear patch, and red belly.

Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests, subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, subtropical or tropical moist montane forests, and plantations. It is threatened in its home range by habitat loss and the capture of individuals for the pet trade.

The presence of this bird outside of its native Hispaniola is due to it being introduced, this in part from a release of birds raised in captivity as a studied rehearsal for the re-colonization program of the highly endangered Puerto Rican Amazon.

Habitat and distribution[edit]

As with other Amazons, it prefers forested areas where food is plentiful. This parrot lives in the wood forests in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. However over the recent years they have been capture out of their natural habitat illegally for pet trades or just to keep them as pets which are very popular in the Dominican Republic. Right now[when?] the population ranges from 10,000 to 19,000 in the wild and decreasing.

The sharply declining population of Hispaniolan Amazons are found in a small area of Haiti, Dominican Republic and a few of-shore islands. It has been introduced to Puerto Rico.

These parrots create nests in tree cavities, the clutch ranges from 2 to 4 eggs maximum, the eggs hatch in about a 30 days and chicks usually fledge at 10 to 12 weeks of age. However people often remove the newborns from the tree cavities and destroy the nest that have been reused over the years and afterwards priving the parrot from reproducing.

Description[edit]

Plumage green; most feathers edged with blue; white forehead and around eyes; some blue patches on cheeks and crown; a little red under the chin; ear coverts black; has red on abdomen; blue wind coverts; green edging to outer webs; yellowish green under tail; tail upper-side green with yellow tips; outer tail feathers red at base; bill horn coloured; iris is brown and feet is pale. its body length is about 28 cm long. The average adults weight 250g (8.75 oz). has a heavy and powerful beak, their bite can cut open skin and do deep cuts.

Although a common Amazon, due to habitat loss, hunting and trapping the wild population is declining sharply. These Amazons prefer to be either in small groups or pairs. They are noisy and cautious, spending the greater part of their days eating and resting in trees. When in flight, they have a very heavy wing beat and are slow. They feed on fruits, berries, seeds, nuts and possibly flowers and constantly chatter while feeding. They have been known to cause damage to banana, guava, maize and cactus fruit crops.

Breeding[edit]

Breeding in aviculture is often not successful and when they are in pairs, they need to be isolated. This is the main reason for the declining population. They are hard to breed and are not hardy, meaning that they can not survive if released into the wild.

References[edit]

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