Turquoise-fronted Amazon (Amazona aestiva): request for information

This discussion was first published as part of the 2018 Red List update. At the time a decision regarding its status was pended, but to enable potential reassessment of this species as part of the 2019 Red List update this post remains open and the date of posting has been updated.

BirdLife species factsheet for Turquoise-fronted Amazon: http://datazone.birdlife.org/species/factsheet/turquoise-fronted-amazon-amazona-aestiva

The Turquoise-fronted Amazon Amazona aestiva has a large range across northern and eastern Bolivia, east to eastern Brazil and south through Paraguay to northern Argentina. The species’s population has not been quantified, but it has previously been described as ‘fairly common’ (Stotz et al. 1996) and it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). The population is thought to be declining, but the decline was not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). Consequently, the species is currently listed as Least Concern.

Turquoise-fronted Amazon is very heavily trapped for cagebird trade, but the impact on populations is not known. According to Collar et al. (2017), minimum net exports rose from 10,644 in 1981 to 58,464 in 1988, thereafter declining, with most of these birds coming from Argentina, which exported 244,774 in the period 1985–1990. The Brazilian National Action Plan for Parrot Conservation (Plano de Ação Nacional para Conservação dos Papagaios; ICMB 2010) states that hundreds of individuals are captured in Brazil every year, with many traded between states, and the species is commonly received by government wildlife rehabilitation centres. Data shows that 1,200 individuals were seized by or handed to authorities between 2004 and 2006 (COEFA/IBAMA 2008), although this figure is considered to be an underestimate of the true number of Turquoise-fronted Amazons seized and an additional 503 individuals were received by a state wildlife rehabilitation during the same period (ICMB 2010). In Mato Grosso do Sul, around 6,500 nestlings were seized by the environmental enforcement agencies since 1988 (899 in 2008 alone), and it is estimated that the total number of birds poached from the wild is 2-3 times higher (Blue-fronted Amazon Project 2017).

Given the apparent high level of poaching of this species, we are requesting further information on the numbers of poached individuals as well as the species’s population size and trends. If information suggests that poaching may result in (or contribute to) a population reduction of 30% or more over three generation lengths (40 years), the species may be uplisted to a threatened category on the Red List.

Summary of our current assessment of this species in relation to the Red List Criteria:

Criterion A – The population is currently considered to be declining, but the rate of decline is not known. If there is evidence that the population has declined by 30% or more across the past three generation lengths (40 years), or that it is likely to decline by this amount in the next 40 years, or that it is likely to decline by this amount over a 40-year period that includes both the past and the future, then the species may be uplisted to Vulnerable on the Red List under Criterion A.

Criterion B – This species has a very large range and is therefore unlikely to approach the thresholds for listing as Vulnerable under Criterion B.

Criterion C – This species may have a continuing decline in mature individuals, but given its large range, its population size is unlikely to fall below the threshold (10,000 mature individuals) for listing this species as Vulnerable under Criterion C.

Criterion D – The population size of this species has not been quantified, but given its large range, it is unlikely to fall below the threshold (1,000 mature individuals) for listing this species as Vulnerable under Criterion D. Additionally, the species’s large range means that it doesn’t qualify for listing as Vulnerable under Criterion D2.

Criterion E – To the best of our knowledge no quantitative assessment of the probability of extinction has been conducted for Turquoise-fronted Amazon, and so it cannot be assessed against this criterion.

We welcome any further information in relation to the Red List status of the Turquoise-fronted Amazon.

Please note that this topic is not designed to be a general discussion about the ecology of the species, rather a discussion of the species’s Red List status. Therefore, please make sure your comments are about the proposed listing.

An information booklet on the Red List Categories and Criteria can be downloaded here and the Red List Criteria Summary Sheet can be downloaded here. For further information on the application of the Red List Categories and Criteria, please go to http://www.iucnredlist.org/technical-documents/red-list-documents.


Blue-fronted Amazon Project (2017) Illegal Animal Trade (retrieved from https://bluefrontedamazonproject.wordpress.com/trafico-de-animais/ on 31 October 2017).

COEFA/IBAMA – Coordenação de Gestão do Uso de Espécies da Fauna/ Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renováveis. (2008). Available at: http://www.ibama.gov.br/.

Collar, N., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2017). Turquoise-fronted Amazon (Amazona aestiva). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from http://www.hbw.com/node/54749 on 30 October 2017).

ICMBio (2010) Plano de Ação Nacional para Conservação dos Papagaios. Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade, Brasilia.

Stotz, D.F., Fitzpatrick, J.W., Parker, T.A. and Moskovits, D.K. 1996. Neotropical Birds: Ecology and Conservation. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

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4 Responses to Turquoise-fronted Amazon (Amazona aestiva): request for information

  1. Freddy says:

    The species is also listed as NT by Brazil, but it is quite widespread and often recorded in the wild.

  2. Claudia Hermes (BirdLife International) says:

    Based on available information, our proposal for the 2018 Red List would be to pend the decision on this species and keep this discussion open until 2019, while leaving the current Red List category unchanged in the 2018 update.
    Final 2018 Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife and IUCN websites in November, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN.

  3. The species has been suffering severe declines as well in its Northeastern distribution with many areas completely void of individuals due to poaching of nestlings over many decades. This has prompted the creation of the “Projeto Papagaio da Caatinga” (Caatinga Blue fronted amazon project) by the CEMAFAUNA (rescue centre for wild animals) and UNIVASF (local university) which includes rehabilitation and release of this species in safe areas where the species was extinct (now breeding in the wild from released individuals has been documented). More information at:






  4. This is a link to the latest PsittaScene magazine of the World Parrot Trust showing the reproductive success:


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