Justification of Red List Category
This species is classified as Endangered because recent population estimates indicate that the global population is very small, and has suffered a rapid decline owing to extensive habitat loss and fragmentation, compounded by trade, and rapid declines are projected to continue. Further clarification is needed as to whether any Brazilian subpopulations exceed 250 individuals.
Based on estimates of 1,500-2,000 individuals in Brazil (G. Bencke in litt. 2009), 220-400 in Paraguay and 262-314 plus <20 in Argentina (K. Cockle in litt. 2016), the total population is believed to lie within the range 1,992-2,733 individuals (rounded here to 2,000-2,700 individuals). This equates to 1328 - 1822 mature individuals and is placed within the band 1,000-2,499 mature individuals.
A rapid and on-going population decline is suspected owing to illegal nest poaching, habitat destruction and persecution as a crop pest.
Amazona vinacea has become rare throughout its extensive range. In the early 1980s, Paraguay was considered the global stronghold, but all remaining subpopulations in Canindeyú, Alto Paraná, and Caaguazú number fewer than c.200 birds (Wege and Long 1995, Lowen et al. 1996, Cockle et al. 2007). The Itaipú reserves and Reserva Natural Privada Itabó are key sites and the minimum remaining population in Paraguay has been estimated at 220 birds (Cockle et al. 2007). There are no recent records from Caazapá or Concepción, and it has probably been extirpated in Amambay (where its historical occurrence is doubtful), Itapúa and Guairá. It is perhaps most common in Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina and Paraná (several populations of more than 100 birds), southern Brazil, and low numbers persist in Minas Gerais and São Paulo, within an estimated national total of 1,500-2,000 birds (G. A. Bencke and A. E. Rupp in litt. 2009). It was possibly never common, and must be close to extinction in Bahia, Espírito Santo and Rio de Janeiro. In Argentina, few populations remain in Misiones, and the species's stronghold is the mosaic of small farms and forest remnants between San Pedro and Santa Rosa (San Pedro Important Bird Area) (Bodrati et al. 2005), with two small additional populations near Campo Viera and Bernardo de Yrigoyen (Cockle et al. 2007). A 2016 census of all known localities in Argentina except Campo Viera yielded 262 - 314 individuals, with the Campo Viera estimated to number fewer than 20 (K. Cockle in litt. 2016). The availability of nest sites continues to decline in Argentina due to forest clearance (K. Cockle in litt. 2016). A recent regional census, which was carried out simultaneously in Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, counted a total which was similar to that observed during the previous project during 2013-2014, but smaller than that found by Cockle et al. (2007) (A. Lesterhuis in litt. 2016).
It inhabits lowland and highland Atlantic forest up to 2,000 m, and ecotones between this forest and grasslands (southern Misiones) and cerrado (Paraguay). There is a strong association with Araucaria angustifolia in Rio Grande do Sul and some correlation in the historical distributions of bird and tree, but Amazona vinacea was distributed throughout eastern Paraguay and southern and western Misiones, Argentina, where there has been no Araucaria angustifolia in historic times, and many other food sources are utilised, including seeds of many native and exotic species, even in areas with Araucaria forest (Lowen et al. 1996, Juniper and Parr 1998, Cockle et al. 2007). It nests from September to January in cavities in various tree species (Cockle et al. 2007). Significant movements may occur in Brazil, possibly dictated by intra- and inter-year variations in Araucaria cone-crop production, but these do not affect the Argentinian or Paraguayan populations. During the breeding season, it is found in pairs or small groups (probably non-reproductive individuals); after the breeding season (February to July), the species congregates in large groups and roosts communally (K. Cockle, A. Bodrati, N. Fariña and J. Segovia in litt. 2007).
In 1984-1991, 38% of Paraguay's Atlantic forests disappeared (Huespe Fatecha et al. 1994), and range contractions in Brazil presumably result from similarly extensive deforestation. There is some correlation with the disappearance of Araucaria forest e.g. in Paraná, 73,780 km2 of Araucaria forest was reduced to 15,932 km2 in 1965 (Hueck 1978). Selective logging, colonisation and plantation agriculture threaten remaining forests (Dinerstein et al. 1995). However, in Argentina, Amazona vinacea has disappeared from large forest reserves (e.g. the 1,500 km2 Iguazú-Urugua-í forest complex), remaining mostly in the mosaic of small farms and degraded forest remnants between San Pedro and Santa Rosa. There, where the wild population numbers approximately 200 individuals, 40 individuals were found in captivity in 35 homes between 2003 and 2005 (Cockle et al. 2007). In 2006 and 2007, from twelve nests identified in this area, only one chick fledged; at least three nests were predated, at least two were flooded during storms, and at three nests the chicks were captured for sale to Brazil (Proyecto Selva de Pino Paraná in litt. 2007). In the anthropogenic habitat that A. vinacea selects in Argentina, there appear to be few appropriate nest cavities, and most nests are in large, shallow, cavities which are easily predated or flooded during storms (Proyecto Selva de Pino Paraná in litt. 2007). Furthermore, the species appears to be very conservative in selecting nest sites, returning year after year to cavities that continually fail (Proyecto Selva de Pino Paraná in litt. 2007). Interviews in 2015 - 2016 suggested that nest poaching continues to be a problem in Argentina (K. Cockle in litt. 2016). Competition with other hole nesting animals may also be important: in the above mentioned nests in Argentina in 2007, A. vinacea apparently lost competitions for nest cavities with exotic honeybees, possums, and several species of hole-nesting birds, apparently during the incubation stage (Proyecto Selva de Pino Paraná in litt. 2007). Internal trade has probably affected Brazilian and Argentine populations, and one massive bird-smuggling operation was centred in Paraguay and included A. vinacea (Endangered Species Bull. 1995 20:7). The species was also shot as a crop pest in certain areas (White 1882, Chebez 1992), but this does not appear to be an important threat today (Cockle et al. 2007).
Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix I and II and protected under Brazilian law. Considered nationally Vulnerable in Brazil (Urben-Filho et al. 2008, MMA 2014), and Critically Endangered in Argentina and Paraguay. Small populations occur in numerous protected areas (Wege and Long 1995, F. Olmos in litt. 1999). In Argentina, two small provincial parks are used by the species, but offer only partial protection because the parrots use habitat outside of the parks for most parts of their life cycle, including, critically, reproduction. In the species' Argentine stronghold between San Pedro and Santa Rosa, environmental education is underway to reduce capture of chicks, and the population has been monitored since 2005 (Proyecto Selva de Pino Paraná in litt. 2007). Successful breeding in captivity has occurred. In Paraguay, the population has been monitored at three remaining sites with Atlantic forest (A. Lesterhuis in litt. 2016). A census was recently carried out simultaneously in Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay (A. Lesterhuis in litt. 2016).
30 cm. Colourful parrot. Bright green with dark edging to feathers, giving scaly effect. Narrow red forehead, lores and speculum. Pale bluish nape. Breast suffused vinous-maroon. Turquoise tinged primaries. Green tail with red base of outer-tail feathers. Pinky-red bill with yellower tip. Fledglings lack red on bill, but have same red forehead as adults. Similar spp. Red-browed Amazon A. rhodocorytha has blue in face and lacks lilac breast. Red-spectacled Amazon A. pretrei has more extensive red on head and wings. Voice High-pitched and nasal, warbled cráu or rac-rac, and hollow créu calls when perched.
Text account compilers
Babarskas, M., Mazar Barnett, J., Symes, A., Capper, D., Wheatley, H., Benstead, P., Sharpe, C.J.
Fariña, N., Bodrati, A., Olmos, F., De Luca, A., Segovia, J., Chebez, J., Pérez, N., Cockle, K., Rupp, A., Bencke, G.
BirdLife International (2017) Species factsheet: Amazona vinacea. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/12/2017. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2017) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/12/2017.