Member Login



Auto-login for future visits

Join or Renew Today!

Membership Benefits:

Close Button

Project Regions:

Yellow-shouldered Amazon

 (Amazona barbadensis)
Click photo to visit gallery

© Sam Williams

Project Status: Active | 2002 - current


ECHO (Bonaire), RARE, University of Missouri-St. Louis, Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund (DWCF), STINAPA, Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance, Birdland UK, Drayton Manor Zoo, Exmoor Zoo, Harewood Bird Garden

Nest poaching and habitat alteration affect wild populations

With an estimated wild population only in the low thousands, the Yellow-shouldered Amazon (Amazona barbadensis) is under threat in the wild.

WPT conservation actions: Beginning in 2002 WPT began supporting a series of conservation and research projects to help protect the Yellow-shouldered Amazon on Bonaire and in Venezuela.

Progress: In 2002 a ringing and amnesty initiative to protect Yellow-shouldered Amazons began on Bonaire with local nature and environment conservancy organisations. WPT provided bands for over 600 pet parrots. Soon after, the WPT partnered with Echo, a non-governmental organisation that supports the conservation of Yellow-shouldered Amazons and their habitat:

  • Conducting research and surveys on population and habitat use
  • Rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing parrots caught in the trade
  • Building capacity (training officers, constructing new enclosures to receive confiscated birds)
  • Protecting and restoring parrot habitat by planting native seedlings
  • Controlling feral domestic animals to protect habitat
  • Creating and distributing education campaigns
  • Protecting nest sites
  • Supporting captive breeding to boost the wild population
  • Introducing sustainable tourism and children's clubs (Rangers and after-school activities)
  • Developing new methods to mitigate conflict with farmers

Thousands of native trees have been planted, dozens of hectares have been restored and protected on Bonaire, and the new adoption campaign, "My Bonaire Tree," has begun. In addition, WPT has funded the rescue of a number of Amazons and other chicks confiscated and sent to Echo, where they were hand-raised in preparation for release back into the wild.

IUCN/CITES Status: Near Threatened / Appendix I

World population: 2,590 - 8,470

Where found: Restricted to small coastal area in Venezuela and the islands of Blanquilla, Margarita and Bonaire. Introduced to Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles.

History: The Yellow-shouldered Amazon (Amazona barbadensis) has a fragmented range with seven genetically isolated populations in N coastal Venezuela (Falcón, Lara, Anzoátegui and Sucre) and the islands of Margarita, La Blanquilla, Curaçao and Bonaire (Rodríguez-Ferraro 2009). The mainland population is apparently low. There are reports of a wild population on Curaçao since 1988 (De Boer 2008, A. Rodríguez-Ferraro in litt. 2012). It is now extinct on Aruba. On the islands there were 1,600 on Margarita in 2008 [Briceño-Linares et al. 2011], 100 on La Blanquilla in 1996-1998 [Rodríguez-Ferraro and Sanz 2007], and 650-800 on Bonaire in 2012 [Department of Resources and Planning, Bonaire per R. Martin and S. Williams in litt. 2012]).  In 1992, 12 captive-reared birds were reintroduced to Margarita (Sanz and Grajal 1998), which was moderately successful.


  • Capture for the wild bird trade
  • Destruction of habitat for tourist and associated developments
  • In some areas is hunted for allegedly damaging crops
  • Degradation of natural vegetation for timber and charcoal (Bonaire)
  • Overgrazing of plants by goats and donkeys, reducing natural food species diversity
  • Destruction of nest sites from poaching
  • Predation by introduced mammals

Ecology: This parrot occurs in areas with cacti and thorny bush and trees; also reported around cultivated areas and around mangroves. Found up to 450m (1476 ft) on Margarita, possibly higher on the mainland.  Birds take fruits of several trees and bushes, seeds, nectar-rich blossoms, cactus tops, and cactus fruit. They will also sometimes take crops, such as avocado, mango and maize.

Programs & Projects

Projects by Status:

Projects by Type:

Sign Up to Stay Informed

Become A WPT Member