Tucuman Amazon Amazona tucumana


Justification of Red List Category
This species is classified as Vulnerable, as capture for the cagebird trade and habitat loss have been causing rapid population declines. Even though illegal trade is still continuing, trapping has reduced drastically since the introduction of trade bans and the population is now starting to show signs of recovery in parts of its range.

Population justification
In 2004, surveys recorded 6,015 individuals in Argentina (Rivera et al. 2007), while in 2006-2007 1,643 individuals were counted in Bolivia (Rivera et al. 2009). The total population is thus placed in the band 10,000-19,999 individuals (L. Rivera in litt. 2012). This is equivalent to 6,667-13,333 mature individuals, rounded here to 6,000-15,000 mature individuals. A precise quantification of the current population size is urgently required.

Trend justification
Survey results, observations on habitat loss and the species's local occurrence, and data on capture and trade show that the population is in decline (Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Agua 2009, L. Rivera in litt. 2011, MAyDS & AA 2017). The species's genetic variability was found to be low, which may be a consequence of a bottleneck and population decline in the past (Rocha et al. 2014).
Trapping as the main driver of the decline has reduced considerably since the species was included on CITES Appendix I in 1990, but is still ongoing particularly in Bolivia (L. Rivera in litt. 2004, Rivera et al. 2009, Pires et al. 2016). However, the largest roost in Argentina appears to have been stable since 2016 (L. Rivera and N. Politi in litt. 2020); while the population may start to recover in parts of the range declines are likely still ongoing in other parts due to ongoing trapping and habitat loss (Pires et al. 2016, Collar et al. 2020). Declines are tentatively placed in the band 30-49% over the past three generations (see MAyDS & AA 2017), but should the species continue to stabilise and recover the rate of decline may slow down in the near future.

Distribution and population

Amazona tucumana is found in the Yungas of north-west Argentina (Jujuy, Salta, Tucumán and Catamarca) and southern Bolivia (Tarija, Chuquisaca and Santa Cruz).


The species inhabits open mountain woodland in Andean yungas forest dominated by pure stands of Alnus acuminata or Podocarpus parlatorei, from 1,600-2,600 m in the breeding season (between November and February). Productivity and nesting success varies significantly from year to year, probably related to fruiting events of P. parlatorei, which is a staple food (Rivera et al. 2014). The main tree species used for nesting and feeding are P. parlatorei, Juglans australis and those in the Myrtaceae family (L. Rivera in litt. 2011, 2012).
The species makes seasonal altitudinal movements; in the non-breeding season, it descends to transition forests at lower elevations down to 700 m (Collar et al. 2020, L. Rivera and N. Politi in litt. 2020). During the non-breeding season it gathers in large flocks, probably including individuals from several breeding localities. It relies on a limited number of tree species for feeding, in particular Acacia visco (Rivera et al. 2019).


The species is susceptible to trapping for trade, which is considered the main driver of rapid population declines, particularly in the past. Around 20,000 individuals were exported from Argentina in the mid to late 1980s (L. Rivera in litt. 2004). In the 1980s, c.5,400 individuals were captured in Bolivia for the international pet trade prior to it being listed by CITES (Rivera et al. 2009). After it was placed on Appendix I of CITES, international trade was effectively cut off, although local exploitation continues at a reduced scale (L. Rivera in litt. 2004, Rivera et al. 2009, Pires et al. 2016). Poaching is still ongoing particularly in Bolivia (Pires et al. 2016); nests are raided even in protected areas, with whole broods removed from c.50 nests annually in Tariquía Flora and Fauna National Reserve. The species's population in Bolivia has apparently not recovered to its former levels (Rivera et al. 2009).
Habitat in Argentina is highly degraded and consists of small, isolated fragments. The species's main nesting and feeding tree species are targeted for logging by timber operations (L. Rivera in litt. 2011, Rivera et al. 2012, 2019). In Bolivia, threats to the habitat appear less severe, but the regeneration of suitable forest is limited by burning to maintain extensive cattle grazing and shifting agriculture (Rivera et al. 2012). Across the range, tree cover is lost at a rate of 4% over three generations (Global Forest Watch 2021, using Hansen et al. [2013] data and methods disclosed therein). Further threats to its habitat include slash-and-burn agriculture and wildfires (Rivera et al. 2009, L. Rivera in litt. 2012).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix I, although the convention is not respected in Bolivia (A. B. Hennessey in litt. 2012). The species is listed as Vulnerable at the national level in Argentina and Bolivia (Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Agua 2009, MAyDS & AA 2017).
It is present in several protected areas, including El Rey National Park, Argentina, mostly in the non-breeding season (L. Rivera in litt. 2012). In 2006, Serranía del Iñao National Park and Sustainable Management Area was designated, providing the foundations for actions to conserve one of the species's largest roosts in Bolivia, which is located nearby (Rivera et al. 2009). Conservation action plans have been developed for each of its range countries (L. Rivera in litt. 2012). Monitoring of known roosts is ongoing (L. Rivera and N. Politi in litt. 2020). Binational awareness programmes are carried out, involving the production of booklets, videos, brochures and posters, and the organisation of festivals.

Conservation Actions Proposed

Produce an accurate estimate of the current population size. Investigate the species's altitudinal migrations and research the genetic structure to identify subpopulations. Carry out research to clarify the extent of threat from trade. Continue surveying known roosts to monitor the population trend.
Increase the percentage of breeding habitat in Argentina that is receiving protection (Pidgeon et al. 2015). Tackle unsustainable resource use and illegal activities in protected areas. Consider reforesting key nesting and feeding trees. Supplement nest sites using boxes where appropriate (A. B. Hennessey in litt. 2012). Enforce bans on poaching and on local trade, particularly in Bolivia (L. Rivera in litt. 2012, Pidgeon et al. 2015). Implement sustainable forest management practices aiming at retaining a minimum density of large tree species used for feeding and nesting (Rivera et al. 2012, 2019).


31 cm. Green throughout, with feathers strongly edged black to give scaled effect on head, nape, upper mantle and underparts; no scaling on undertail coverts, lower mantle and wings; forehead and sometimes lores red, bare orbital skin white; lower thighs orange-yellow; undertail coverts with yellowish tinge; primary coverts red; primaries tipped dark blue; tail tipped yellowish. Bill yellowish-horn. Immature has all-green thighs.


Text account compilers
Hermes, C.

Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Harding, M., Hennessey, A.B., Hoyer, R., Khwaja, N., Maccormack, A., Politi, N., Rivera, L., Sharpe, C.J., Symes, A. & Taylor, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Amazona tucumana. Downloaded from on 30/05/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 30/05/2023.