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Yellow-naped Amazon

 (Amazona auropalliata)
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Project Status: Active | 2007 - current


New Mexico State University researchers Dr. Tim Wright and doctoral students Alejandro Salinas-Melgoza and Christine Dahlin, the Area de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG), Santa Rosa Park

Yellow-naped Amazon at risk from human pressures

With wild populations in decline in all six countries in its native range, the Yellow-naped Amazon (Amazona auropalliata) is at risk for extinction.

Progress and outcomes: The Yellow-naped Amazon has been supported by a number of actions through the WPT:

  • Field studies into ecology and habitat use
  • Population surveys
  • Educational programmes and events
  • Monitoring nests in the field

Beginning in early 2007, WPT provided a Small Action Programme grant for a research project to learn about range and habitat use of the Yellow-naped Amazon in Costa Rica.  Also in response to heavy poaching New Mexico State University researchers partnered with WPT, the Area de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG) and Santa Rosa Park, in supporting an educational program. The Programa de Investigacion Biologica of the Area de Conservacion Guanacaste has become an important link between the local people and the research that is conducted by the university. 

Focus of future work: WPT will continue its conservation efforts for the species with new projects to take place in several countries including Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. In Costa Rica there are plans to implement monitoring of the wild Yellow-naped Amazons there, and continue counts often to track the effectiveness of release programs. WPT will also support the confiscation of illegally held captive birds, which will be rehabilitated and released if possible. Any birds that are injured or unable to be released will be held back for a breeding program. A release program and community awareness will be developed in select locations in the former range of these birds, building support for the value of these parrots.


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IUCN/CITES Status: Vulnerable / Appendix I

World population: 10,000 – 50,000

Where found: A.a. auropalliata: Pacific slope from Oaxaca, Mexico to NW Costa Rica
A.a. parvipes: Mosquitia of Honduras and NE Nicaragua
A.a. caribaea: Bay Islands, Honduras

History: The total population of the Yellow-naped Amazon may be as little as 10,000 (J. Gilardi in litt. 2011) or as high as 50,000 (A. Panjabi in litt. 2008).  An overall decline in population has occurred throughout the species’ range due to trapping for the wild bird trade and the loss and degradation of its habitat.  Interviews with local people in at least one area provide anecdotal evidence that the species has lost ground or disappeared entirely since the 1950s and 1960s (R. Bjork in litt. 2011) (Grijalva 2008). The populations in Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Honduras also appear to be declining (T. Wright in litt. 2011, Lezama et al. 2004, Wiedenfeld 1993).


  • On-going habitat destruction and degradation due to the expansion of agriculture
  • Heavy capture for local and international trade
  • Nest cavity invasion by Africanized bees resulting in loss of young
  • Gulf of Fonseca mangrove forests being cleared for aquaculture and extraction of firewood and timber

Ecology: The Yellow-naped Amazon favours deciduous forest, pine-oak woodland, gallery forest along waterways, arid to semi-arid savanna woodland, and dry scrubland with remnant woodlots or scattered trees.  Birds are found in pairs or flocks with larger gatherings at communal roosts and feed areas. They feed on seeds of Cochlospermum, Curatella, figs and ripening Terminalia fruits. Bay Island birds feed on pine cones.

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