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Red-lored Amazon

Spreads for web 2

By Robert Alison
Images captured by Nicholas Leicht

Against its popularity in avicultuture, Robert Alison highlights some of the perils that challenge this psittacine in its natural habitat.

One of the most consistent incongruities plaguing ornithology is the disconnect between psittacid popularity in aviculture and the paucity of scientific information pertaining to the ecology, in the wild, of the most prevalent pet parrot species. The Red-lored Amazon (Amazona autumnalis) is a glaring example of a psittacid that is tremendously popular among aviculturists whereas very significant elements of its biology remain poorly known.

The range of this species is guestimated to be about three million square kilometres, including all, or part, of Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama and Venezuela. According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), its total area of occupancy, extent of its occurrence, rate of decline of mature adults, and rate of decline of mature individuals in subpopulations, are all unknown. The IUCN admits the species is declining, and despite huge blanks in pertinent information, this parrot is officially categorised in terms of conservation as a species of ‘least concern’.

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