Saving threatened habitats worldwide

Yellow Shouldered Parrot

Yellow Shouldered Parrot by Provita
Amazona barbadensis
Class: 
Aves
Order: 
Psittaciformes
Family: 
Psittacidae
IUCN Red List status: 
Vulnerable

Description

Protected by the following WLT projects:

The Yellow Shouldered Parrot, also known as the Yellow Shouldered Amazon, is green, with yellow head and shoulder patches, white forehead and a red flash on its wings. The Yellow Shouldered Parrot has a bluish tinge on its lower cheek and chin and its wings are tipped with dark blue (1). The average body length is about 33cm from head to tail tip (2).

Behaviour

Yellow Shouldered Parrots mostly eat fruit, seeds and cactus flowers. They are highly sociable birds and roost communally in tall trees, with as many as 700 birds together (4). They have a curious, inquisitive and playful nature (3). Yellow Shouldered Parrots are very noisy; they make dry rattling and trilling calls (1).

Yellow-shouldered Parrot chicks
Yellow-shouldered Parrot chicks in a protected nest. Photo © José Manuel Briceño.

Habitat

The Yellow Shouldered Parrot has a very small range which means that its threat is highly intensified. It is only found along the northern coast of Venezuela and the islands off its north coast, such as Margarita Island. Yellow Shouldered Parrots are found in desert shrublands where the vegetation is predominantly low thorn bushes or trees and cacti (4).

In the breeding season, usually between March and September, parrots form pairs and nest in holes in trees, cacti or cliffs (4), where they lay between 2 and 5 eggs (2).

Threats and Conservation

The Yellow Shouldered Parrot is at threat from both the pet trade and habitat loss. Some of this habitat loss is due to overgrazing by goats (3). On Margarita Island (where WLT are working with project partners Provita), a lot of its habitat is being lost as a result of tourist developments. There are also issues concerning increased predation due to introduced mammal species and conflicts with farmers as the birds may damage crops.

Although precise numbers are not known, it is estimated that there are less than 10,000 Yellow Shouldered Parrots left in the wild (1). There are signs of positive conservation success however. Individuals have been reintroduced to Margarita Island and local awareness is being raised among Margarita’s communities (4).

Learn more

  • See IUCN Red List of Threatened Species for more information on the classification of the Yellow Shouldered Parrot

References

(1) Yellow-shouldered Amazon – Birdlife species factsheet ( accessed February 2010)
(2) Parrot Facts- www.echobonaire.org/Echo/Parrots.html ( accessed February 2010)
(3) Yellow-shouldered Amazon -www.avianweb.com/yellowshoulderedamazon.html (accessed February 2010)
(4) IUCN Red List for Yellow Shouldered Parrot (accessed February 2010)

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