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Blue-fronted Amazon

 (Amazona aestiva)
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© mauroguanandi [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Project Status: Active | 2005 - current


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, Pernambuco environmental state agency’s rescue centre (CPRH CETAS Tangara), the wildlife centre of the Caatinga (CEMAFAUNA) at Sao Francisco University (UNIVASF), Estância Natureza Lins Rescue Centre

Wild populations are being decimated by the bird trade

Since 1981, nearly a half-million wild Blue-fronted Amazons (Amazona aestiva) have been traded on the international market. Overexploitation has caused local extinctions in its native range.

Progress and outcomes: Since 2005, WPT has supported research and anti-trade efforts for Blue-fronted Amazons. 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

Over many years, the WPT has provided support to hundreds of Blue-fronted Amazons caught in trade, providing veterinary care, training in the handling and care of young chicks, funds for rehabilitation flights and microchips for tracking after release. The Trust and its local partners have conducted soft-release reintroductions into areas where the birds have been gone for 30-40 years, as heavy trapping has caused local extinctions.

Focus of future work:  WPT is currently working with the Projeto Papagaio da Caatinga and more recently Estância Natureza Lins Rescue Centre to rehabilitate confiscated Blue-fronted Amazons as well as species of parakeets and conures caught in illegal trade. Hundreds of birds have been confiscated, rehabilitated and released.

IUCN/CITES Status: Near Threatened / Appendix II

Wild population:  As low as 100,000 and 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 while it is still in some areas, in others it is locally extinct. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is revieving its status, currently listed as Least Concern. 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). 


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

Ecology: The Blue-fronted Amazon is found in a 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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