Red-tailed Amazon Amazona brasiliensis


Justification of Red List Category
Despite heavy trapping pressure in the early 1990s, the species's range is believed to have remained essentially the same, and recent population estimates have shown a population increase. Owing to its small breeding range, its small population and its continued dependence on conservation measures, the species is listed as Near Threatened.

Population justification
Winter counts in 2015 recorded 7,464 individuals in Paraná and 1,712 in São Paulo with both populations continuing to increase (D. Waugh in litt. 2015). The population is therefore estimated to number 9,000-10,000 individuals, roughly equating to 6,000-6,700 mature individuals.

Trend justification
Long-term conservation measures are suspected to have contributed to a recent population increase, although habitat fragmentation and poaching remain significant threats (Waugh 2006).

Distribution and population

Amazona brasiliensis occurs in a narrow littoral strip, between the Serra do Mar and coast, from Itanhaém in São Paulo through Paraná to extreme north-east Santa Catarina, south-east Brazil (Lalime 1997). Breeding areas are mostly located on small estuarine islands with few on the mainland. Populations were thought to have declined from c.3,500-4,500 birds in the 1980s to fewer than 2,000 individuals by 1991-1992 (Martuscelli and Scherer Neto 1993). However, subsequent surveys suggest that long-term conservation measures have enabled the species to make a recovery (Waugh 2006, Schunk et al. 2011). Winter counts in 2015 recorded 7,464 individuals in Paraná and 1,712 in São Paulo, with both populations continuing to increase (D. Waugh in litt. 2015).


Almost the entire population migrates daily between mangrove and littoral forest roosting and breeding areas, and Atlantic forest feeding areas. It feeds primarily below 200 m, but has been recorded up to 700 m (Lalime 1997). At the extremes, breeding occurs from late August to early March, with up to four eggs laid in natural tree-cavities, mostly in Gerivá palms Syagrus romanzoffianum and Guanandi Callophyllum brasiliense (Lalime 1997, Lalime 1999). Although essentially frugivorous, it also feeds on leaves, flowers and insects within fruit (Lalime 1997).


There is extensive poaching for national and (especially) international trade with 356 birds, mostly nestlings, captured during 1991-1992 breeding season in the municipality of Cananéia (a quarter of the species's range) (Martuscelli 1994). Of 47 nests monitored between 1990 and 1994, six were naturally predated and the other 41 robbed by humans (Martuscelli 1997). Nest-cavities are virtually always damaged when removing nestlings, reducing the number available (Martuscelli 1994). There is continuing habitat loss for boat building, banana plantations, cattle- and buffalo-grazing and beach houses (Lalime 1999, Snyder et al. 2000). Palmito palms are cut for processing in Guaraqueçaba (Lalime 1999). The proposed construction of a bridge to Ilha Comprida will increase pressure from tourism and habitat conversion (Snyder et al. 2000). Tourist boats in the vicinity of nesting or roosting areas may cause disturbance (Schunk et al. 2011).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix I and II and protected under Brazilian law. This species is not considered to be of conservation concern at the national level in Brazil (MMA 2014). It occurs within 15 protected areas, but these are not locally enforced (Martuscelli 1994, Lalime 1999). Superagui National Park, Paraná protects the stronghold (R. Bóçon in litt. 2006). The creation of new reserves is hampered by economic interests (Martuscelli 1994). Several programmes are raising local awareness (Martuscelli 1994, Lalime 1999, Padua et al. 2001). Conservation projects and the protected areas created in the species range seem to be paying off, although some trapping still occurs. There are studbooks and successful captive-breeding programmes in the European Union and Brazil (Lucker 1998) and the provision of artificial nests and the repair of natural nesting cavities is boosting reproductive success in the wild (Waugh 2006). The Red-tailed Amazon Conservation Project is monitoring the population in Paraná (R. Bóçon in litt. 2006)

Conservation Actions Proposed
Carry out surveys to monitor population trends and support captive breeding programmes. Monitor rates of off-take for trade. Monitor trade levels. Monitor rates of habitat loss and degradation. Enforce laws on trafficking, especially on access routes to breeding islands (Lalime 1997, Lalime 1999). Effectively protect existing reserves (Lalime 1997, Lalime 1999). In the state of São Paulo, designate new protected areas at Ilhas de Cananéia and Ilha Comprida (Snyder et al. 2000; Schunk et al. 2011) and protect areas used for roosting and feeding around the city of Cananéia and the breeding site in the Preto river region, Itanhaém (Schunk et al. 2011).  In the state of Paraná, carry out surveillance to prevent poaching and extraction of nesting trees and develop protected area management plans with the species in mind (Schunk et al. 2011). Reforest breeding islands (Lalime 1999). Continue and expand awareness efforts (Lalime 1999, Schunk et al. 2011).


37 cm. Green parrot with colourful head. Overall deep green with yellowish margins to feathers. Red forecrown and lores, becoming purplish on mid-crown. Bluish auricular and face, paler on cheeks and throat. Duskier wings with some red on shoulders. Bluish base to tail feathers, broad red band and yellow tips, except green central rectrices. Horn-coloured bill. Voice High-pitched and musical growls, klit-cráu, klit-cráú, and liquid chatters.


Text account compilers
Sharpe, C.J., Wheatley, H., Harding, M., Benstead, P., Symes, A., Capper, D.

Olmos, F., Bóçon, R., Waugh, D.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Amazona brasiliensis. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org/species/factsheet/red-tailed-amazon-amazona-brasiliensis on 01/06/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org on 01/06/2023.