Archived 2014 discussion: Lilac-crowned Amazon (Amazona finschi): uplist to Endangered?

This discussion was first published as part of the 2013 Red List update, but remains open for comment to enable reassessment in 2014.

BirdLife species factsheet for Lilac-crowned Amazon

Lilac-crowned Amazon Amazona finschi is restricted to the Pacific coast of Mexico (Forshaw 1989, Collar 1997, Juniper and Parr 1998). Historically, its range extended from southern Sonora and southwest Chihuahua to Oaxaca (Forshaw 1989, Howell and Webb 1995). The species has been practically extirpated from Oaxaca, as well as parts of Nayarit, Jalisco, Durango, Colima and Michoacán, and has undergone significant population declines in many areas of its original range, especially in the lowlands (Renton and Elias 2003). It is currently listed as Vulnerable under A2cd+3cd+4cd;C1 because it has a small population which is declining rapidly (≥30% in three generations) owing to exploitation and habitat loss.

However, a recent study by Marin-Togo et al. (2012) estimated the current distribution of this species along the Pacific coast of Mexico and showed a 72.6% reduction of the estimated original distribution. Also, primary habitat comprised more than half the extent of absence areas for this species (60.7%).  It is highly valued in trade (Cantu et al. 2007) and was the most captured Amazon parrot species in the early 1980’s (Inigo-Elias and Ramos 1991). It is one of the top five most-captured Mexican parrot species, with an estimated 5,400 individuals/year captured illegally in Mexico (Cantu et al. 2007). Renton and Elias (2003) estimated the global population at 7,000-10,000 individuals, based on surveys covering the majority of the species’s global range, which roughly equates to 4,700-6,700 mature individuals. If the annual number captured for trade is accurate this suggests that the total population may have been underestimated, but even if this is the case, a large and presumably highly unsustainable proportion of the global population are being captured for trade.  In addition, this species is reported to require conserved semi-deciduous forest with tall, mature trees for nesting, and may not adapt to nesting in modified areas (see Marin-Togo et al. 2012). As a result, both habitat loss and capture for trade may be heavily impacting this species and could be causing the drastic reduction of its original distribution (Marin-Togo et al. 2012).

If there is sufficient evidence to suggest that the population has reduced by ≥50% in three generations (37 years in this species), based on an ongoing decline in area of occupancy, extent of occurrence, and/or quality of habitat, and levels of exploitation, this species would warrant uplisting to Endangered under criterion A2cd+3cd+4cd. Should the population now be estimated to number fewer than <2,500 mature individuals, and to be suffering a continuing decline of ≥20% in two generations (up to 100 years in the future), it would qualify as Endangered under criterion C1 of the IUCN Red List.

Information is requested on distribution, population size and trends of this species. Comments on the proposed uplisting are welcome.


Cantu, J. C., Sanchez, M. E., Grosslet, M. and Silva, J. (2007) The illegal parrot trade in Mexico: a comprehensive assessment. Defenders of wildlife/Teyeliz.

Collar, N. J. (1997) Psittacidae (Parrots). In: del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. (ed.), Handbook of the birds of the world, pp. 280-477. Lynx Edicions: Barcelona, Spain.

Forshaw, J. M. and Cooper, W. T. (1989) Parrots of the world. Blandford Press: London.

Howell, S. N. G. and Webb, S. (1995) A guide to the birds of Mexico and northern Central America. Oxford University Press: Oxford.

Iñigo-Elías EE, Ramos MA (1991) The psittacine trade in Mexico. In: Robinson JG, Redford KH (eds) Neotropical wildlife use and conservation. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp 380–392

Juniper, T. and Parr, M. (1998) Parrots: a guide to the parrots of the world. Pica Press: Robertsbridge, UK.

Marin-Togo, M. C., Monterrubio-Rico, T. C., Renton, K., Rubio-Rocha, Y., Macias-Caballero, C., Ortega-Rodriguez, J. M. and Cancino-Murillo, R. (2012) Reduced current distribution of Psittacidae on the Mexican Pacific coast: potential impacts of habitat loss and capture for trade. Biodiversity Conservation 21: 451-473.

Renton, K. and Elías, E. E. I. (2003) AS001: evaluación del estado actual de las poblaciones de loro corona lila (Amazona finschi) en México.

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3 Responses to Archived 2014 discussion: Lilac-crowned Amazon (Amazona finschi): uplist to Endangered?

  1. I’m not quite shure about that number fewer than <2,500 mature individuals. I'm working in the Banderas Bay region, in the mexican state of Jalisco, and in 2013 in one morning (two hours) in one counting point, we can count about 200 individuals. By another hand that is not the unique site to find this species, that you can look elswere in the region. I'm working with Military macaw and I don't have a population counts for A. finshi but suspect that the entire numbers of A. finshi in the region could be close to the thousand individuals.

  2. Joe Taylor says:

    Preliminary proposals

    Based on available information and comments posted above, our preliminary proposal for the 2014 Red List would be to uplist Lilac-crowned Amazon Amazona finschi to Endangered under criterion A2cd+3cd+4cd.

    There is now a period for further comments until the final deadline of 31 March, after which recommended categorisations will be put forward to IUCN.

    The final Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife and IUCN websites in mid-2014, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN.

  3. Andy Symes says:

    Recommended categorisation to be put forward to IUCN

    Following further review, there has been no change to our preliminary proposal for the 2014 Red List status of this species.

    The final categorisation will be published later in 2014, following further checking of information relevant to the assessment by BirdLife and IUCN.

Comments are closed.