Yellow-naped Amazon, Amazona auropalliata, occurs on the Pacific slope of southern Mexico through to northern Costa Rica, as well as in north-east Nicaragua into north-east Honduras, and the Bay Islands of Honduras (Juniper and Parr 1988, see Taylor 2013). It inhabits a range of habitats including different forest types as well as secondary growth in agricultural areas, arid scrub and savannas (Juniper and Parr 1988, Taylor 2013). Habitat loss and degradation have threatened this species but the main threat appears to be the capture for trade (see Taylor 2013), with potentially c.5,000 young smuggled out of La Mosquitia region, Honduras per year (per O. Andino in litt. 2011), although this number has not been verified. The combination of these threats has been thought to have led to a rapid decline in this species, and there appears to be poor rates of recruitment as the species has an ageing population (Renton and Wright 2002, Chassot et al. 2007). Preliminary surveys, observations and reports suggested large declines in areas throughout its range, including in Costa Rica where the population there was considered to be one of the most secure (Lezama et al. 2004, A. Salinas in litt. 2011, L. Joyner in litt. 2011, R. Bjork in litt. 2011, T. Wright in litt. 2011), with its near complete disappearance from some areas (Wiedenfeld 1993, Grijalva 2008). An overall population decline of 50% from c.1980 to 2000 was reported (Anon. 2008), although this also requires confirmation. This information therefore led the species to be listed as Vulnerable under criteria A2cd+3cd+4cd (see BirdLife International 2017).
The population was estimated by Partners in Flight as <50,000 individuals (A. Panjabi in litt. 2008), and was as such placed in the range 20,000-49,999 mature individuals. It has been suggested that the population size may actually number far fewer than this, potentially <10,000 individuals (J. Gilardi in litt. 2011, 2016), which would then fall in the range 2,500-9,999 mature individuals. However, the species would still not warrant listing as Vulnerable under criterion C on the basis of this as there is no outright clear estimate of the rate of decline of the overall population (so cannot assess the species against criterion C1) and the population structure means that it would not trigger criterion C2. More information has become available, though, regarding population trends, which may warrant a change of Red List category. Formal counts at 6 sites in Costa Rica have noted a decline of 48.9% between 2005 and 2016 (C. Dahlin and T. Wright in litt. 2016). This would equate to a decline of c.89% over 3 generations (36.9 years), which is very worrying considering the population in this country has been considered one of the most secure (A. Salinas in litt. 2011).
Information from the population in Nicaragua is more scant. The most recent population estimate (10 birds) at the one site which has been formally counted fell within the range of 2-15 individuals that were there during formal counts 2008-2014, suggesting a relative stability, albeit at a very low number (C. Dahlin and T. Wright in litt. 2016). This may be a result of a resolution to ban national and international trade (A. Salinas in litt. 2016). However, there are reports from surveys at other sites that areas where the species had been seen in large numbers now had no or few individuals present (M. Lezama per C. Dahlin and T. Wright in litt. 2016), and so it has been suggested that the population in Nicaragua may have undergone a decline at similar rate to that in Costa Rica (C. Dahlin and T. Wright in litt. 2016). This does seem plausible as in the mid-1990s national population estimates for Nicaragua and Honduras were considered to be in the range of 100,000-200,000 individuals (Widenfeld 1993, 1995, Renton and Wright 2002), i.e. >10 time the size of the global population now.
Such declines globally would mean that the species would warrant listing as Critically Endangered, but the rate of decline for Costa Rica is estimated from only a handful of sites, and we are lacking suspected rates of decline from other range states. Given that Costa Rica was suspected to hold the most secure population, then the species could be precautionarily uplisted to Endangered under criteria A2acd+3cd+4acd (as global declines may be in the range 50-79% over 3 generations), but it may warrant further uplisting. Hence we request any further information from elsewhere in its range to judge whether this species may deserve further uplisting to Critically Endangered.
BirdLife International. 2017. Species factsheet: Amazona auropalliata. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 10/04/2017.
Chassot, O.; Arias, G. M., Sandoval, L.; Sánchez, J. E.; Hernández, J. C.; Ramírez, O. R. V.; McClearn, D.; Rojas, J. J.; Porras, R. A.; Matamoros, J. R.; Matamoros, Y. 2007. Evaluación del estado poblacional de los psittacidos de Costa Rica. Mesoamericana 11(2): 67-73.
Grijalva, A. E. A. 2008. Monitoreo de la “lora nuca amarilla” (Amazona aurocapilliata) como especie clave y estabecimiento de sitios importantes para su conservación en el area de conservación Bahía de Jiquilisco, Usulután. Miniterio de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, San Salvador.
Juniper, T.; Parr, M. 1998. Parrots: a guide to the parrots of the world. Pica Press, Robertsbridge, UK.
Lezama, M.; Vilchez, S.; Mayorga M.; Castellón, R. 2004. Monitoreo de Psitácidos, 2004 – Estado Actual y Conservación. Univesidad Centroamericana, Managua.
Renton, K.; Wright, T. 2002. Transfer of Yellow-naped Amazon Amazona auropaliata from Appendix II to Appendix I. Proponet: Costa Rica. CoP 12 Prop. 16. Analyses of the proposals to amend the CITES appendices for COP12.
Taylor, J. 2013. Another wake-up call for the conservation of the Yellow-naped Parrot Amazona auropalliata. Neotropical Birding 13: 24–30
Wiedenfeld, D. A. 1993. Status and management of Psittacines in northeastern Honduras.
Wiedenfeld, D. A. 1995. Status and management of Psittacines in Nicaragua.