Hispaniolan Amazon (Amazona ventralis)

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Hispaniolan Amazon
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Hispaniolan Amazon fact file

Hispaniolan Amazon description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderPsittaciformes
FamilyPsittacidae
GenusAmazona (1)

Like most Amazons, this species is green with some dark edging to the feathers, giving a scaled appearance (4). The forehead is white, bordered by blue, and the ear-coverts are dark blue to black (5). Reddish patches appear on the lower face and throat, the belly and the base of the tail (4) (5). Primary flight feathers and wing-coverts are blue and the green tail has slight yellowish colouration at the tips (4) (6).

Spanish
Amazona de la Española, Loro de Hispaniola.
Size
Size: 28 – 31 cm (2)
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Hispaniolan Amazon biology

The Hispaniolan Amazon lives in pairs and small flocks, and nests in tree cavities, and sometimes dead tree-stumps and rock crevices (2) (6). Breeding is known from February to May but may extend further into the year (2). Clutches typically contain two to four eggs, and incubation in captivity lasts 24 to 26 days (5) (6). Chicks usually fledge at 10 to 12 weeks of age (6).

The Hispaniolan Amazon feeds on the fruits and seeds of palms, cacti and guava, as well as cultivated plants such as bananas and maize (5).

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Hispaniolan Amazon range

Native to Hispaniola, occurring in both Haiti and the Dominican Republic, as well as the satellite islands of Grande Cayemite, Gonâve, Beata and Saona (2). Populations have also been introduced to Puerto Rico (USA), and St Croix and St Thomas in the Virgin Islands (USA) (2).

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Hispaniolan Amazon habitat

Found in a variety of wooded habitats, from arid lowland palm-savannah to pine to more humid montane evergreen forest, up to approximately 1,500 metres above sea level (2) (5). This species often frequents cultivated lands such as banana plantations and maize fields in order to forage (2).

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Hispaniolan Amazon status

Classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List (1) and listed on Appendix II of CITES (3).

IUCN Red List species status – Vulnerable

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Hispaniolan Amazon threats

This Amazon parrot is thought to have undergone significant declines due to habitat clearance, poaching for food, trapping for the local and international cage-bird trade and shooting as a crop pest (2) (5). Nest poaching is fairly common, even in protected areas, and, in some cases, entire trees are cut down to obtain the nestlings for trade (7). Conversion of land for agriculture and charcoal production have destroyed most suitable habitat (2).

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Hispaniolan Amazon conservation

The National Aviary and the Sociedad Ornitologica Hispaniola (SOH) have begun an education strategy involving a series of community workshops to improve awareness among communities living near the remaining parrot populations (2) (7). Populations of this parrot receive some protection in protected areas such as Sierra de Bahorucos and Del Este National Parks in the Dominican Republic (2) (7). In 1997 to 1998, 49 captive-reared birds were released and radio-tracked in Del Este National Park, and there is potential for further reintroductions (2). Continued field research is planned for 2007 to determine clutch and brood sizes, and nest success, as well as to further establish the extent of habitat loss and nest poaching on Hispaniola and the patterns of extinction throughout the island. It is hoped that the information gained from such studies will help guide appropriate conservation measures and to emphasize the seriousness of the decline of the Hispaniolan Amazon to local people and to governments (7).

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
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Find out more

For more information on the Hispaniolan Amazon see:

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Authentication

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
arkive@wildscreen.org.uk

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Glossary

Coverts
Small feathers concealing the bases of larger primary feathers, usually on the wings or tail.
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References

  1. IUCN Red List (September, 2008)
    http://www.iucnredlist.org
  2. BirdLife International (February, 2007)
    http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/species/index.html?action=SpcHTMDetails.asp&sid=1662&m=0
  3. CITES (January, 2007)
    http://www.cites.org
  4. R and B Aviaries (February, 2007)
    http://www.rbaviary.com/Hispaniolans.html
  5. del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Sargatal, J. (1997) Handbook of the Birds of the World – Sandgrouse To Cuckoos. Vol. 4. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
  6. Hurricane Aviaries (February, 2007)
    http://www.cyberparrots.com
  7. Woolaver, L. (2006) Ecology and conservation of endangered birds in the Dominican Republic, Hispaniola. Progress Report 2006. Wildlife Preservation Canada, Online. Available at:
    http://www.wptc.org/reports/WPC%20Progress%20Report%202006.pdf
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Image credit

Hispaniolan Amazon  
Hispaniolan Amazon

© Alejandro Sanchez

Alejandro Sanchez
http://www.kingsnake.com/westindian/

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