Justification of Red List Category
Habitat conservation, law enforcement and public awareness campaigns have halted this species's slide towards extinction, and even reversed some of the previous declines. However, it still qualifies as Vulnerable because it has a very small population and range on a single island.
The species has a wild population of about 730 birds (Loro Parque Fundación 2008), which equates to 487 mature individuals, placed here in the band 250-999 individuals.
Numbers of this species continue to steadily increase (Culzac-Wilson 2005).
Amazona guildingii occurs on the upper west and east ridges of St Vincent (St Vincent and the Grenadines), where it declined seriously through the 20th century until the early 1980s. Following recent conservation action, numbers increased from 370-470 individuals in 1982 to approximately 519 in 2002, and then to c.734 in 2004 (Greenwood 1994, Culzac-Wilson et al. 2003, D. Wege in litt. 2005).
It inhabits moist forest, mainly at 125-1,000 m, preferring mature growth at lower altitude. It feeds in the canopy, on a wide variety of fruits, seeds and flowers (Raffaele et al. 1998), but sometimes forages in partially cultivated areas. Breeding takes place between January and June, peaking in February-May, in loose aggregations of approximately 12 individuals, each defending its own nest site but tolerating the close proximity of nearby pairs (Culzac-Wilson 2005). During wetter years, birds may not attempt to breed (Culzac-Wilson 2005). Nests are generally in cavities in mature, large trees (Juniper and Parr 1998).
Hunting for food, trapping for the cage-bird trade and habitat loss were the principal causes of this species's decline. Deforestation has been the result of forestry activities, the expansion of banana cultivation, charcoal production, the loss of nesting-trees felled by trappers seeking young birds for trade, and natural events such as hurricanes and volcanic eruptions (Snyder et al. 2000). The introduced nine-banded armadillo Dasypus novemcinctus undermines large trees causing them to topple, reducing the number of suitable nest trees (Culzac-Wilson 2005). A cross-country road is planned, funded by the Taiwanese government, which would destroy large areas of suitable habitat and increase deforestation rates (Culzac-Wilson et al. 2003). The genetic isolation of the separate subpopulations may present further cause for concern.
Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix I and II. Domestic legislation protecting the species is enforced. The St Vincent Parrot Reserve was established to protect all occupied habitat (Juniper and Parr 1998). Successful public education campaigns have apparently improved public perceptions of the species and, combined with the above measures, have reversed some of the previous declines. Captive populations exist in St Vincent and Barbados (Woolcock 2000, Sweeney 2001). A comprehensive species conservation plan was published in 2005 (Culzac-Wilson 2005).
40 cm. Polymorphic parrot. More common yellow-brown morph has white head shading to yellow on hind crown. Bluish postocular patch. Grey scaled nape, and bronze scaled upperparts and breast, becoming greenish on vent. Orange-and-red wing-coverts. Black primaries with yellow bases. Dark blue secondaries with orange bases. Dark blue tail with orange base and yellow terminal band. Green morph is duller and lacks orange, greenish upperparts and bluish encircling face. Immature duller. Similar spp. Only parrot on St Vincent. Voice Noisy with variety of calls including, yapping, honking, shrieking, bubbling and squawking.
Text account compilers
Wheatley, H., Everest, J.
Benstead, P., Isherwood, I., Mahood, S., Sharpe, C.J. & Wege, D.
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Amazona guildingii. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 31/03/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 31/03/2023.