Archived 2021 topic: Yellow-naped Amazon (Amazona auropalliata): Revise global status?

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13 Responses to Archived 2021 topic: Yellow-naped Amazon (Amazona auropalliata): Revise global status?

  1. Estoy de acuerdo con el cambio propuesto de categoría EN a CR. Han sido muchos años intentando revertir la situación, desde principios de la década de los 90 hasta la fecha. No ha sido posible, desgraciadamente, políticas de Estado, corrupción a nivel de gobiernos, narcotráfico y el uso de la tecnología de comunicación hacen que traficantes de fauna, y de esta especie, Amazona auropalliata dispongan de métodos cada vez más difíciles de detectar en los controles de las autoridades. Esta especie sigue siendo presionada por el tráfico de fauna a nivel nacional e internacional. Los gobiernos han sido ineficientes para reducir el nivel de tráfico de esta y otras especies.

  2. I fully support the proposed change to CR. Thank you for including our comments based on our recent published research (C. Dahlin, T. Wright and M. Dupin) into your consideration for the proposed status change.

  3. We support the proposed change to Critically Endangered for Amazona auropalliata.
    In Mexico, A. auropalliata is restricted to a small area near the coastland of Chiapas and Oaxaca. Up to 79% of its original area of distribution is now farmland, orchards or cattle ranches (Marín et al 2012). Only 26.9% of primary habitat remains for this species, mostly mangrove forests and decidious tropical forests mostly within two large protected areas of La Encrucijada and La Sepultura Biosphere Reserves (Marín et al 2012).
    Given that the immense majority of the distribution area of the species in Mexico now lies in disturbed habitat, Marín et al (2012) show concern that Amazona auropalliata has had very poor reproductive success in modified habitats of Guatemala and Costa Rica (Wright et al. 2001), and the same could be happening in Mexico.
    Given its small distribution range and reduced population, A. auropalliata doesn’t figure among the most seized species in Mexico (Cantú et al 2007). Nevertheless, seizure trend from 1995-2019 shows an increasing trend in seizures for this species (PROFEPA 1996-2020) which demonstrate that poaching yellow-naped parrots for the pet trade has not abated.
    Juan Carlos Cantú
    Director of Programs Defenders of Wildlife Mexico
    Director of Loros Sin Fronteras
    Cantú-Guzmán, J.C. y M. E. Sánchez-Saldaña, Grosselet, M. y Silva, J. (2007). Tráfico Ilegal de Pericos en México. Una Evaluación Detallada. Defenders of Wildlife. Washington, D.C. 75 pp
    Marín-Togo, M. C., Monterrubio-Rico, T. C., Renton, K., Rubio-Rocha, Y., Macías-Caballero, C., Ortega-Rodríguez, J. M., & Cancino-Murillo, R. (2012). Reduced current distribution of Psittacidae on the Mexican Pacific coast: potential impacts of habitat loss and capture for trade. Biodiversity and Conservation, 21(2), 451-473.
    PROFEPA 1996-2020 Parrot seizures, unpublished annual data obtained through the Instituto Federal de Acceso a la Información (IFAI) 1996-2020.
    Wright TF, Toft CA, Enkerlin-Hoeflich E, González-Elizondo J, Albornoz M, Rodríguez Ferraro A, Rojas- Suárez F, Sanz V, Trujillo A, Beissinger SR, Berovides V, Galvez X, Brice AT, Joyner K, Eberhard J, Gilardi J, Koenig SE, Stoleson S, Martuscelli P, Meyers JM, Renton K, Rodríguez AM, Sosa-Asanza AC, Vilella FJ, Wiley JW (2001) Nest poaching in Neotropical parrots. Conserv Biol 15:710–720

  4. On behalf of the Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Association (ARCAS) in Guatemala, we fully support the uplisting of Amazona auropalliata to Critically Endangered. In 2019, we carried out a case study on the trafficking of this species with the support of the US Department of State and the Wildlife Conservation Society, and within the framework of the COLORES/One Earth Conservation consortium. ( Based on parrot counts carried out by COLORES as well as data from the historical legal trade, it appears that the population of the yellow-naped amazon in Guatemala has plummeted from an estimated 30,000 – 50,000 individuals in the 80s and 90s to its current estimated population of approximately 500 individuals. Being one of the parrots that best imitates the human voice and other sounds, it continues to be a major target for illegal wildlife traffickers, contributing to the lawlessness the reigns in Guatemala. Recently, one of our colleagues in the COLORES consortium, Mr. Pedro Viteri, was murdered trying to protect a yellow-naped nest from poaching. At ARCAS, since 2004, we have received a total of 74 confiscated and donated yellow-napeds, which, no doubt, is just the tip of the iceberg in the trafficking of the species.

    With an estimated population of only 500 individuals, inhabiting an area of Guatemala that has not traditionally been a priority for conservation efforts, and considering its role as a high-value target in illegal trafficking, the yellow-naped parrot merits being listed as Critically Endangered.

  5. Without a doubt the yellow-naped amazon is under widespread duress with continued risk of further population decreases after an already precipitous decline since I have been working with this species in 1987 in Guatemala. The pressures only seem to be increasing with more habitat fragmentation and the pressure of the international illegal wildlife trade. For instance, we have had Asian buyers coming to our projects’ areas in Honduras and Nicaragua (and have heard that the same is happening in Costa Rica) offering to buy yellow-naped amazon eggs since 2018. In Southern Guatemala where we monitor nests, almost the only nests to successfully fledge young are those where poachers do not take them because the nests are in extremely dangerous trees to climb and those with Africanized bees. In some cases, chicks fledge in areas where there is heavy protection and conservation efforts, but even with our efforts, we saw an upturn in 2020 in our inability to keep away armed hunters that entered five our six conservation areas, resulting in the death of one parrot conservationist who died protecting a nest. We guard and monitor these conservation areas because they are where the highest concentration of yellow-naped populations occur in the entire South Coast of Guatemala, and still we are almost powerless to stop the poaching, which has been the case since the early 1990s. We still believe that there are only 400, or perhaps slightly more, in all of Guatemala.

    Yet in Guatemala we still see family size groups during our annual June census, so not all nests are lost. Perhaps our conservation efforts are having an impact, or there may simply be more dead trees and Africanized bee populations. We are seeing an increasing population on Guanaja Island, Honduras, going from 498 in 2019 to 875 in 2020. We feel this is mostly due to an extremely aggressive conservation effort on the island that has basically stopped poaching. On Ometepe Island, Nicaragua we have been conducting annual counts and although we cannot determine any precise population trends, our nest monitoring analysis is more rigorous. We have found that persistent conservation efforts have reduced the poaching in all four of our primary conservation communities and that the population in these four areas hovers around 1000 individuals from 2018-2020. In 2018 we estimated that the Minimum Number of Distinct Individuals present on the island was 1869 ( – “Multiple Point Transects in Parrot Monitoring: A Case Study Ometepe Island, Nicaragua 2014-2020.”)

    In Honduras we did partial counts from 2015-2017 on the Pacific Coast of Honduras where the last remaining Pacific range yellow-naped amazons exist in the country, finding sanctuary in the heavily fragmented mangroves. We estimated in 2017 that there could be up to 200 individuals remaining there. In La Moskitia, Honduras we have only conducted point counts in our eleven widely separated conservation communities in 2019 and 2020, so no trend analysis is available. In these areas we had an MNDI of 843.

    In summary, my impression is this: The remaining populations of yellow-naped amazons exist where poachers are most challenged to climb, such as volcanic slopes, islands, and mangroves. Sometime poaching decreases when there is dense armed and violent conflict. Aggressive conservation efforts might be able to deter the poaching in these remaining populations, but this is no guarantee and comes at considerable risk to the conservationists.

    LoraKim Joyner
    One Earth Conservation

  6. I strongly support the uplisting of Amazona auropalliata to Critically Endangered. The decimation of appropriate habitat, incursion by anthropogenic activity, and intense, unrelenting poaching and trafficking activities will ensure the extinction of this species in the wild without greater protections. Uplisting will improve funding for surveys and biological investigations/research as well as that for law enforcement, legal pursuit of poachers, jobbers and trafficking wholesalers on a global basis. Time is of essence and the situation is urgent.

  7. I agree with the proposed change from EN to CR category. This species continues to be pressured by wildlife trafficking nationally and internationally. El Salvador is a destination country for parrots that are plundered in neighboring countries and the Yellow-naped Parrot is one of the species most in demand. At least 100 specimens are kept in captivity with a legal permit as pets (Herrera, Unpublished), while 57 specimens have been confiscated between 2014 to 2019 for illegal trade. Current data show the existence of a healthy population in the urban area of the city of San Salvador and surrounding cities (approximately 80 km2). The parrots are kept year-round, in various wooded and semi-wooded environments, including university campuses, urban parks and residential areas with wooded areas inside. There are at least 80 to 100 parrots living in this manner, with an annual growth rate of 0.54 individuals (Herrera et al. in prep.). Outside the city, in the coastal zone, populations are scarce or absent in the last 20 years or have declined, for example in Barra de Santiago at least 50% of the individuals in the last 30 years (Herrera 2020), but in other sites such as Tasajera Island and Montecristo Island there are records of dozens of individuals, presumably occurring to feed on Marañón (Anacardium occidentale). Populations in the interior of the country, such as Metapán, adjacent to the interior of Guatemala, and eastern San Miguel department are very low and the status in this part of the dry forest is unknown. Currently, several actors have supported the elaboration of a National Conservation Program, under the government’s environmental authority. But more actions are needed to conserve this species in its range, particularly in sites with fewer studies and data.

    Herrera, N. 2020. Registros de la Lora Nuca Amarilla Amazona auropalliata en dormideros del Complejo Barra de Santiago, zona sur del Departamento de Ahuachapán, El Salvador. Revista Venezolana de Ornitología 10:4–9

  8. Jose Ignacio Gutiérrez Vargas says:

    I support the change of the species to CR. Through the 2021 Yellow-naped Amazon (Amazona auropalliata) breeding season I search for nests in Costa Rica we search ~13000 km (~8000 miles) and a total of 420 hours of field work. I found a total of 10 nests through the whole distribution of the species in Costa Rica (Gutiérrez, unpublished data). 7 of the nests were located in the vicinity of the Santa Rosa National Park where Wright et al. (2018) found the highest numbers of wild Yellow-napeds. This can be interpreted as a big population with a small number of reproductive adults. These patterns can arise from the extensive poaching reported for the species. And can be linked to the abrupt declines in the species in the last decades.
    These data show a delicate population where conservation efforts should be increased.

  9. Between June 10 and until June 16th, 2021 we carried out the Amazona auropalliata census across Costa Rica. We sampled the same localities as those sampled back in 2016, by Wright et al. 2016 YNA census, but in this opportunity, we did not include a few sites, due to multiple reasons, including, the sites being too dangerous at the moment, or lack of permits. Furthermore, we added a couple of new roots not previously counted before.

    Overall, we were able to count a minimum of 1195 individuals (excluded here are birds from San José city, where an incipient populations has established, although only 6 birds were observed at the roost, but we know of quite a few more birds living in and around the city of San José). A comparison of sites counted both in 2016 and 2021, yielded a larger number for this year , with 794 in 2016 vs. 853 birds in 2021. While I think is too soon to imply some sort of population recovery, is worth to highlight that there seems to be no decrease in the number of individuals. There was quite a bit of variation on the numbers of each site, with some sites having almost the same number of birds, while other were either much higher or lower. Worthwhile mentioning, that the roost with the highest number of birds was Isla Lora, with 259 individuals.

    Despite these numbers, it is clear that poaching (especially chicks) is still on ongoing issue for the species in Costa Rica. At one of the islands where we counted, two out of three nests were poached, and the chicks removed from the nest. Also, data provided to us by the Area de Conservación Guanacaste which represents a large portion of the distribution of the species, indicated that 26 YNA were confiscated between the years 2018 and 2020. This clearly highlights the strong pressure (especially on nesting pairs). Clearly, more actions are needed to constrain the poaching activities, ranging from education programs, to an enforcement on the poaching activities, leading to judicial action on the poachers.

    The extent of poaching across the distribution in Costa Rica is probably similar that that reported to us, which constrains the recovery of the already diminished population size. Furthermore, while some areas across the natural distribution of the species, has seen an increase of reforestation, mainly in the form of secondary growth, on many private lands, cattle pastures with isolated trees are now converted to extensive sugar cane plantations where most trees are totally decimated. Hence, given the strong poaching pressures on the breeding pairs, a probably slow recovery of its populations, joined by the anthropogenic pressure on its natural habitat, we deemed timely to upgrade its conservation status to CR.

    César Sánchez

    Macaw Recovery Network

  10. Chris Sharpe says:

    In Nicaragua, the species was described as “fairly common” on both slopes pre-1970s—so approximately equivalent to the 51 year 3 generation period before present—by Thomas Howell, but was much less common on the Pacific slope by the 1990s. In 1998, flocks were still very much evident in well-known areas such as Isla de Ometepe, but it was much scarcer elsewhere on the Pacific slope. The species was regularly offered for sale on the street in Managua and on roadsides —typically one or two birds at a time—along with more common psittacids. At that time, government officials were very keen to promote legal trade in this species. The more recent declines reported in Wright et al. (2019)—>50% pop decline over 11 years—come on top of that previous reduction and, if representative of the trends beyond the region they covered, satisfy CR A4acd. What is the species status on the Atlantic slope? This is part of the largest tropical wilderness in Mesoamerica, and used to be (again, at the turn of the millennium) in fairly good shape.

  11. Red List Team (BirdLife International) says:

    Many thanks to everyone who has contributed to this discussion. We greatly appreciate the time and effort invested by so many people in commenting. The window for consultation is now closed. We will analyse and interpret the new information and post a preliminary decision on this species’s Red List status on this page in early July.

    Thank you once again,
    BirdLife Red List Team

  12. Red List Team (BirdLife International) says:

    Preliminary proposal

    Based on available information, our preliminary proposal for the 2021 Red List would be to adopt the proposed classifications outlined in the initial forum discussion.

    Despite signs of recovery in local populations, mainly as a result of conservation effort and poaching bans, declines throughout the range are extremely rapid. Please note that the generation length of this species has recently been revised to 11.5 years, and hence the time period for the assessment under Criterion A is roughly 35 years. Even with this revision, the revised trend estimate continues to exceed the thresholds for listing as outlined in the initial proposal.

    There is now a period for further comments until the final deadline in mid-July, after which the recommended categorisations will be put forward to IUCN.

    The final 2021 Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife and IUCN websites in December 2021, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN.

  13. Red List Team (BirdLife International) says:

    Recommended categorisation to be put forward to IUCN

    The final categorisation for this species has not changed. Yellow-naped Amazon is recommended to be listed as Critically Endangered under Criterion A4acd.

    Many thanks for everyone who contributed to the 2021 GTB Forum process. The final 2021 Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife and IUCN websites in December 2021, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN.

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