Justification of Red List Category
This newly described species is listed as Endangered because it is estimated to have a very small and fragmented population, which is inferred to be in on-going decline owing to continued habitat loss and trapping pressure.
This species appears to have a population of fewer than 2,500 individuals, with an estimate of 400-600 individuals given by Juniper and Parr (1998), which is also cited by Berg and Angel (2006), who estimated 214 birds at one roost in south-western Ecuador. Surveys of more than 40% of the coastline of Ecuador in November 2012 and January 2014 have yielded a minimum of 304 individuals in the study area (M. Pilgrim and B. Biddle in litt. 2013, B. Biddle in litt. 2014). The population is therefore placed in the band for 1,000-2,499 individuals, assumed to equate to 670-1,674 mature individuals, rounded to c.600-1,700. The population appears to exist in multiple sub-populations that are isolated by a lack of continuous habitat, with the largest sub-population recorded in recent surveys numbering 139 individuals (B. Biddle in litt. 2014), thus it is assumed that all sub-populations number no more than 250 mature individuals.
There has been an apparent reduction of 18-35% in the number of birds in the Puerto Hondo Mangrove area between 2006 (Berg and Angel 2006) and 2014 (B. Biddle in litt. 2014). Overall, the population is inferred to be in decline owing to on-going habitat destruction and unsustainable levels of exploitation.
Amazona lilacina is endemic to Ecuador, where it occurs widely but very sparsely on the Pacific slope. Following fieldwork in November 2012 and February 2014, there is estimated to be a minimum of 304 individuals along more than 40% of the coastline of Ecuador (M. Pilgrim and B. Biddle in litt. 2013, B. Biddle in litt. 2014). The total population is therefore estimated at fewer than 2,500 individuals. Locations occupied by the species have a presence of both mangrove and dry tropical forest, which seems to be a combination of habitats that has become rare owing to urbanisation and aquaculture development, and the coastal population of this species appears as a result to exist in small and isolated sub-populations (M. Pilgrim and B. Biddle in litt. 2013). An apparent reduction of 18-35% in the number of birds in the Puerto Hondo Mangrove area between 2006 (Berg and Angel 2006) and 2014 (B. Biddle in litt. 2014), and on-going habitat loss and trapping pressure imply that the population is in decline.
Recent surveys along the coast of Ecuador have located this species in areas with a presence of both mangrove and dry tropical forest (M. Pilgrim and B. Biddle in litt. 2013). The species persists in disturbed forest fragments and probably frequents a variety of forest habitats, dry scrub and modified areas such as plantations (del Hoyo et al. 1997). Breeding has been noted in January-March (del Hoyo et al. 1997, del Hoyo et al. 2016).
Most of Ecuador's forests and mangroves have been cleared since the mid-20th century, with aquaculture pond development for shrimp farming being the main driver of mangrove loss (B. Biddle in litt. 2014). The clearance and unsustainable use of mangroves may have slowed because of protection measures, but loud bird-scaring devices used at existing shrimp farms are likely to cause disturbance to the species (B. Biddle in litt. 2014). Overall, habitat loss and degradation driven by agricultural expansion, timber and fuelwood harvesting and development are regarded as on-going threats to this species. Trapping pressure is another on-going threat, with surveys for this species in November 2012 suggesting that the local pet trade in A. lilacina is occurring on a small scale; for example, within one village close to an occupied site there were at least four individuals being kept as pets and a further 10 in a neighbouring village. A further threat to the species was noted to be the unwitting breeding of hybrids with race salvini for release as part of local conservation efforts (M. Pilgrim and B. Biddle in litt. 2013); however, this has since been halted (B. Biddle in litt. 2014).
Conservation Actions Underway
The pre-split species is listed under CITES Appendix II. Occurs within Fundación Pro-Bosque's 61 km² Cerro Blanco Protective Forest and the 106 km² Manglares el Salado Fauna Production Reserve (IUCN Cat. unknown). Coastal populations of this species has been surveyed recently, and further fieldwork is planned to assess whether A. lilacina or A. a. salvini occurs in Esmeraldas Province in north-western Ecuador (B. Biddle in litt. 2014).
Conservation Actions Proposed
Carry out further surveys to estimate the population size. Use remote sensing techniques to monitor land-use change on the Pacific slope of Ecuador. Conduct awareness-raising activities to reduce trapping and trade. Increase the area of suitable habitat that receives effective protection.
Text account compilers
Ekstrom, J., Symes, A., Butchart, S., Taylor, J., Sharpe, C.J., Wheatley, H., Stattersfield, A.
Biddle, B., Pilgrim, M.
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Amazona lilacina. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 06/06/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 06/06/2020.