Amazona barbadensis (BirdLife species factsheet) is found in several isolated populations in northern coastal Venezuela and the islands of Margarita, La Blanquilla, Curaçao and Bonaire (to Netherlands) (Rodríguez-Ferraro 2009). It is currently extinct in the Paraguaná peninsula on mainland Venezuela (Briceño-Linares et. al. 2011). It is now extinct on Aruba (to Netherlands).
It is currently classified as Vulnerable under Criterion B1b because it has a restricted range within which trade and habitat loss and possibly introduced mammalian predators have been likely to be causing declines (Collar et al. 1992).
The species’s island populations appear to fluctuate, but total over 2,300 individuals (J. P. Rodriguez in litt. 2016) (over 1,600 on Margarita in 2008 [Briceño-Linares et al. 2011] around 100 on Blanquilla in 1996-1998 [Rodríguez-Ferraro and Sanz 2007] and over 650-800 on Bonaire in 2012 [Department of Resources and Planning, Bonaire per R. Martin and S. Williams in litt. 2012]). The mainland population has not been estimated but seems low and probably numbers in the hundreds (J. P. Rodriguez in litt. 2016). Its population is therefore likely to number at least 2,500 individuals, equating to 1,667 mature individuals, and is placed in the band 1,500-7,000 mature individuals.
The species is suspected to have previously undergone a slow population decline owing to illegal poaching and habitat loss. As a result of extensive conservation efforts including round-the-clock guarding of nests from poachers, the largest subpopulation, on Margarita, has increased from 750 birds in 1989 (Sanz and Grajal 1998) to over 1,600 in 2008 (Briceño-Linares et al. 2011). The population on Bonaire was estimated to number 400 individuals in 2006 (Williams and Martin 2006) and 600-850 individuals in 2012 (Department of Resources and Planning, Bonaire per R. Martin and S. Williams in litt. 2012). The mainland population was in decline in 2003 (Hilty 2003) but the current trend is unknown and we are unable to determine the overall population trend for this species.
This species’s Extent of Occurrence (EOO) has recently been revised as 135,000km2, based on a Minimum Convex Polygon (the smallest polygon in which no internal angle exceeds 180 degrees and which contains all the sites of occurrence) (IUCN 2001, 2012). This updated EOO figure no longer falls under the Threshold of 20,000 km2, under which a species may be listed as Vulnerable under Criterion B1.
The species’s estimated population size of 1,500-7,000 mature individuals falls below the minimum threshold to be listed as Vulnerable (and possibly below the minimum threshold to be listed as Endangered) under Criterion C2. However, the species is not known to be undergoing a continuing decline and it does not meet the subcriteria to be listed as Vulnerable under this criterion since the largest subpopulation numbers more than 1,000 individuals (1,600 individuals on Margarita, roughly equating to 1,067 mature individuals, rounded to 1,100 mature individuals) and no single subpopulation holds more than 90% of the total population. Should there be evidence that this species’s population is continuing to decline, it may be appropriate to list the species as Near Threatened under Criterion C2a(i). If the population is not continuing to decline, it may be appropriate to list the species as Near Threatened because it is dependent on conservation, the cessation of which would result in the taxon qualifying for one of the threatened categories under Criterion C2 within a period of five years.
Additional information, particularly on the species’s current population trends on mainland Venezuela, and comments on this proposal are welcomed.
Briceño-Linares, J.M.; Rodríguez, J.P.; Rodríguez-Clark, K.M.; Rojas-Suárez, F.; Millán, P.A.; Vittori, E.G.; Carrasco-Muñoz, M. 2011. Adapting to changing poaching intensity of yellow-shouldered parrot (Amazona barbadensis) nestlings in Margarita Island, Venezuela. Biological Conservation 144: 1188–1193.
Collar, N. J.; Gonzaga, L. P.; Krabbe, N.; Madroño Nieto, A.; Naranjo, L. G.; Parker, T. A.; Wege, D. C. 1992. Threatened birds of the Americas: the ICBP/IUCN Red Data Book. International Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge, U.K.
IUCN. 2001. IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria: Version 3.1. IUCN Species Survival Commission. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, U.K.
IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria: Version 3.1. Second edition. Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK: IUCN. Available at www.iucnredlist.org/technical-documents/categoriesand-criteria
Rodríguez-Ferraro, A. 2009. Who’s who? & how we know – genetics & conservation. PsittaScene 21(3): 3-5.
Rodríguez-Ferraro, A.; Sanz, V. 2007. Natural history and population status of the Yellow-shouldered Parrot on La Blanquilla Island, Venezuela. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 119(4): 602-609.
Sanz, V.; Grajal, A. 1998. Successful reintroduction of captive-raised Yellow-shouldered Amazon parrots on Margarita Island, Venezuela. Conservation Biology 12: 430-441.