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Blue-fronted Amazon

 (Amazona aestiva)
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© By Charlesjsharp (Own work, from Sharp Photography) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Project Status: Completed | 2005 - current

Collaborators

SOS FAUNA (former), Rescue Center in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul (CRAS-MS), Projeto Papagaio da Caatinga, American Bird Conservancy (ABC), Kyle Brown Legacy, Barbara Delano Foundation

Wild populations decimated by bird trade

Since 1981, nearly a half-million wild Blue-fronted Amazons (Amazona aestiva) have been traded on the international market. Over-harvesting and habitat loss have caused local extinctions that have contributed to the overall decline of the species in the wild.

Progress and outcomes: Since 2005, WPT has worked to assist efforts to end the trade in wild-caught Blue-fronted Amazon Parrots. This work includes:

  • Documenting current trade practices in the species' native country and others
  • Providing logistical and monetary help for confiscations
  • Aiding rehabilitation and releases

WPT also supported the research of biologist Dr. Igor Berkunsky starting in 2007.

One hundred and forty-eight Blue-fronted Amazon chicks were confiscated from the illegal wild bird trade in October 2010. The Brazilian NGO SOS FAUNA, provided the first emergency care; the chicks were later transferred to their Rescue Center in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul (CRAS-MS). The World Parrot Trust’s FlyFree program contributed financial support for this emergency rescue.

Focus of future work:  WPT is currently working with the Projeto Papagaio da Caatinga to rehabilitate confiscated Blue-fronted Amazons as well as species of parakeets and conures caught in the illegal trade.

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IUCN/CITES Status: Least Concern / Appendix II

Wild population:  Unknown, population decreasing

Where found: A.a. aestiva: E Brazil, from Pernambuco and S Para to W Sao Paulo and S Mato Grosso.
A.a.xanthopteryx: S Mato Grosso and formerly W Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, N and E Bolivia, and Paraguay to N Argentina; mixes with aestiva in NW Paraguay, S Mato Grosso, and NE Argentina.

History: The Blue-fronted Amazon (Amazona aestiva) is trapped in large numbers for the wild bird trade but it is still abundant in some areas, in others reduced due to capture and still others locally extinct due to habitat loss.  In spite of this it is listed as Least Concern by IUCN.  Since 1981 when it was listed on CITES Appendix II, hundreds of thousands of wild-caught individual Blue-fronted Amazons have been recorded in international trade. The trapping of Blue-fronted Amazon is the only harvest of a wild bird anywhere which claims to be sustainable. WPT by 2005 had ascertained that it is not, and let officials in the EU and USA know how unsustainable their harvest is in practice (Berkunsky, 2005). 

Threats:

  • Heavy trapping for the bird trade
  • In some areas local extinctions due to habitat loss

Ecology: The Blue-fronted Amazon is found in range of wooded habitats and open country with trees, up to an altitude of 1600m (5248 ft) in E Bolivia.  Birds take fruit and seeds from wide variety of plants and trees.  They are seen in communal roosts and are found in pairs or flocks of several dozen birds, sometimes quite close to human habitation.

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