Hispaniolan Amazon Amazona ventralis


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 into a different threat category.

Population justification
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.

Trend justification
There are no new data on population trends, but the species is suspected to have been declining rapidly, as a result of hunting, habitat loss and trapping. Populations may however, be exhibiting tentative increases in urban refuges, such as Santo Domingo (Luna et al. 2018), and partially offsetting population declines throughout the species's natural habitat; further research is required to quantify such trends.

Distribution and population

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. It is however, becoming increasingly frequent in urban refuges, such as Santo Domingo (Luna et al. 2018). 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 1997) and is becoming increasingly frequent in urban refuges, such as Santo Domingo (Luna et al. 2018). 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 1997, Juniper and Parr 1998, G. M. Kirwan in litt. 1998). Nests are situated in tree-cavities, and sometimes dead tree-stumps (Collar 1997, Juniper and Parr 1998, G. M. Kirwan in litt. 1998).


Agricultural conversion and charcoal production have destroyed most suitable habitat and forest loss within the species's range is currently estimated at ~10% across three generations (Tracewski et al. 2016). 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, S. Marsden in litt. 2017). 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

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); of the released individuals, first-year survival rates were ~30-35% in 1997 and ~29% in 1998 (Collazo et al. 2003). 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).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Assess the current size of the population. Establish a comprehensive monitoring programme. Determine the extent of remaining habitat. Determine the impact of the various threats. Enforce the laws and regulations protecting this species and its habitat (Snyder et al. 2000). Encourage better bird-keeping practices to reduce the demand on wild birds and develop a captive breeding programme. Educate public regarding negative impact of native pet trade in the Dominican Republic (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
Everest, J.

Benstead, P., Isherwood, I., Khwaja, N., Kirwan, G.M., Mahood, S., Marsden, S., Sharpe, C.J., Wege, D., White, T. & Woolmer, G.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Amazona ventralis. Downloaded from on 28/06/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 28/06/2022.