Red-spectacled Amazon Amazona pretrei


Justification of Red List Category
The combination of a comparison of population estimates in 1971 and 1997, and deforestation rates over the same period suggest that the species has declined rapidly, qualifying the species as Vulnerable. The ongoing threats of habitat loss and trapping suggest that this decline is likely to continue.

Population justification
Snyder et al. (2000).

Trend justification
A rapid and on-going population decline is suspected owing to habitat destruction, degradation and fragmentation and illegal trade.

Distribution and population

Amazona pretrei breeds in Rio Grande do Sul, south Brazil, with main populations in the Campo de Cima da Serra, Planalto Médio, Depressão Central, Serra do Sudeste and Alto Uruguai (Prestes et al. 1997). Southern (and perhaps northern) breeders move north in the austral winter. Most of the wintering population formerly roosted at Aracuri but, since 1991, there has been a shift to south-east Santa Catarina (Snyder et al. 2000). In 1994, there were 15 roost sites in use seasonally, but large roosts at Aracuri and Rincão dos Pereira had disappeared. There has been a startling population decline since the 1950s. In 1971, the Aracuri roost was c.30,000 individuals, but more recent estimates of the total population are 7,500-8,500 individuals in the early 1990s, c.10,000 in 1994, c.12,600 in 1996 and c.16,300 in 1997 (Snyder et al. 2000). Elsewhere, there is an erroneous 19th century specimen from São Paulo (C. Yamashita in litt. 2000). Wandering birds occur in Argentina and Paraguay, but there are only three recent records (Brooks et al. 1993, Lowen et al. 1996, Chebez et al. 1998). The current breeding and wintering ranges are estimated by ecological niche modelling to have contracted from historical ranges by 32% and 43% respectively; and they are predicted to have shrunk by 63% and 91% respectively by 2060 (Marini et al. 2010).


It breeds in open savanna woodland and riverine forest below 1,000 m, with tree-hollow nests recorded in over 30 tree species (Prestes et al. 1997). Breeding occurs in late September-January, with young generally fledging by late December. There is a stronger non-breeding season association with Araucaria angustifolia, but there are roosts in Acacia and Eucalyptus plantations. The diet includes seeds of A. angustifolia (especially important between May and August) and Podocarpus lamberti (important between January and February in some areas), but also fruit, seeds or flowers of 25 tree species.


In 1914, 25% of Rio Grande do Sul was forested but, by 1988, this was less than 3% as a result of cutting for timber, building materials and fuelwood; over-exploitation of other forest products, notably Araucaria seeds, which possibly explains shifts to Santa Catarina (Snyder et al. 2000); intense grazing, and livestock trampling. There is an organised internal trade, with parrots usually taken by cutting the nesting-tree, resulting in permanent abandonment.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix I and II. This species is considered Vulnerable at the national level (Silveira and Straube 2008, MMA 2014) and protected under Brazilian law. There are breeding populations in five reserves and two austral winter feeding sites are protected (Wege and Long 1995). However, less than 1% of the year-round range, and under 4% of each seasonal range falls within protected areas (Marini et al. 2010). Artificial nests have been provided but not occupied (Snyder et al. 2000). A public awareness campaign has been in progress since 1991 (Prestes et al. 1997, Snyder et al. 2000).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Carry out surveys to obtain an up-to-date population estimate. Conduct regular surveys to assess population trends. Study current levels of off-take for trade. Monitor rates of habitat loss and degradation. Protect breeding areas in Caçapava do Sul and Santana da Boa Vista. Improve protected-area management. Enforce the law against collectors and, especially, dealers by searching vehicles between December and February (Prestes et al. 1997). Continue the awareness campaign.


32 cm. Bright, green-and-red parrot. Green throughout with dark, scaly effect. Variable amount of red on forehead, lores and around eyes. Some sparse red spots on head. White periocular. Extensive red carpal area, sometimes partly concealed by other feathers. Blue tips to secondaries and primaries. Pale yellowish bill. Immature has less red on head. Similar spp. Vinaceous Amazon A. vinacea has less red on head and none at carpal joint. Pileated Parrot Pionopsitta pileata is much smaller with no red in wing. Voice Piercing, high-pitched screeches but also lower, hoarse caw caw keeu keeu and repeated hee-o hee-o hee-o.


Text account compilers
Babarskas, M., Benstead, P., Capper, D., Clay, R., Mazar Barnett, J., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A., Khwaja, N.

Yamashita, C.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Amazona pretrei. Downloaded from on 14/08/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 14/08/2022.