Justification of Red List Category
This species is considered Vulnerable because anecdotal evidence suggests that there has been a rapid population reduction. The size of the population and the exact extent of the decline are unclear, and clarification may lead to the species being reclassified as Near Threatened.
The population size is preliminarily estimated to fall into the band 10,000-19,999 individuals. This equates to 6,667-13,333 mature individuals, rounded here to 6,000-15,000 mature individuals.
There are no new data on population trends, but the species is suspected to be declining rapidly, as a result of hunting, habitat loss and trapping.
Amazona ventralis is endemic to Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic) and the associated islands of Grande Cayemite, Gonâve, Beata and Saona (AOU 1998). Introduced populations are established in Puerto Rico (to U.S.A.), and St Croix and St Thomas in the Virgin Islands (to U.S.A.) (AOU 1998). It was common on Hispaniola, but declined significantly during the 20th century. By the 1930s, it was mainly restricted to the interior mountains, where it remains locally fairly common in suitable habitat, particularly within several major forest reserves (Juniper and Parr 1998, Raffaele et al. 1998). Elsewhere, it is now uncommon, rare or absent. The introduced population in Puerto Rico numbers several hundred and is apparently increasing (Juniper and Parr 1998).
It inhabits a variety of wooded habitats, from arid palm-savannah to pine and montane humid forest, up to and slightly above 1,500 m (Juniper and Parr 1998). It frequently forages in cultivated lands (AOU 1998), such as banana plantations and maize fields (Collar 1997a). Breeding is known from February to May, but prospecting pairs have been seen in mid-April, suggesting that the season may extend further into the year (Collar 1997a, Juniper and Parr 1998, G. M. Kirwan in litt. 1998). Nests are situated in tree-cavities, and sometimes dead tree-stumps (Collar 1997a, Juniper and Parr 1998, G. M. Kirwan in litt. 1998).
Agricultural conversion and charcoal production have destroyed most suitable habitat. It is also persecuted as a crop-pest, hunted for food and trapped for the local and formerly at least, international cage-bird trade (Juniper and Parr 1998). Trapping of adults and robbing nests for chicks to supply the local pet trade is a particular concern because in some areas most families own a parrot, and these only live a few years before they have to be replaced (G. Woolmer in litt. 2005, T. White in litt. 2012). Moreover, nest-robbing activities frequently result in destruction of the nest cavity or nest tree, further exacerbating loss of nesting habitat to other causes (T. White in litt. 2012).
Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. An education strategy with community participation has been launched to protect the species (Vásquez et al. 1995). In 1997-1998, 49 captive-reared birds were released and radio-tracked in Parque del Este, Dominican Republic (Vilella et al. 1999). The Loma Charco Azul Biological Reserve, created in 2009, holds populations of the species. Also, recent public education and outreach work, including some enforcement actions, have taken place in several communities surrounding the Parque Nacional Jaragua, near the border with Haiti. In January 2012 there was also a release of 10 captive-reared parrots which had been confiscated as young chicks from nest poachers. These chicks were reared and rehabilitated at the Parque Zoologico Nacional, and successfully released on the grounds of the zoological park (T. White in litt. 2012).
28-31 cm. Bright green parrot with white forehead, blue flight feathers, maroon belly-patch and red in tail. Similar spp. Only Amazona parrot on Hispaniola. Introduced in Puerto Rico where more common that Puerto Rican Amazon A. vittata. Voice Noisy. Wide variety of squawks and screeches. Bugling flight call.
Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Isherwood, I., Mahood, S., Sharpe, C J, Wege, D. & Khwaja, N.
Kirwan, G., Woolmer, G. & White, T.
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Amazona ventralis. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 13/11/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 13/11/2019.