Justification of Red List category
This species is classified as Vulnerable because it has a small range, with suitable habitat declining in extent, area and quality, owing both to logging and drought-induced range limitation. Numbers have also declined through trapping and particularly the recent growth in invasive species predation.
The population size is preliminarily estimated to fall into the band 10,000-19,999 individuals. This equates to 6,667-13,333 mature individuals, rounded here to 6,000-15,000 mature individuals.
The species is inferred to be declining. In the past, declines were considered to stem mainly from ongoing habitat loss and degradation, and trapping. In recent years however, logging rates have reduced as resident communities utilise more modern building materials, whilst trapping has simultaneously declined as climate change and unpredictability in occurrence render trapping methods increasingly ineffective (L. Gibson in litt. 2020). Declines are further caused by patterns of drought, which are increasing in severity as a result of climate change, exacerbating the shrinkage of the species's range; moreover, invasive species, namely rats and mongoose, are becoming increasingly prevalent throughout Amazona collaria's range, generating enhanced nest depredation and resultant population declines (Gibson 2020).
The rate of decline has not been assessed directly. Over the past three generations (20.7 years), tree cover within the range has been lost at a rate of 6% (Global Forest Watch 2021). Based on rates of tree cover loss between 2016 and 2020, this may increase to 7% over the next three generations (Global Forest Watch 2021). As the species is dependent on wet limestone forest (Collar and Boesman 2020), population declines may be exacerbated by the additional impact of habitat degradation. The impact of nest predation on the population size has not been quantified, but is described as the major driver of the population decline (Gibson 2020); as such it may account for an additional 10% decline over three generations. Accounting for further threats, including trapping for trade and the impact of droughts, the rate of overall population decline is tentatively placed in the band 20-29% over three generations.
Amazona collaria is mainly found in wet areas of Jamaica (BirdLife Jamaica Parrot Project in litt. 1998, 2000). The largest populations occur from Cockpit Country to Mount Diablo and in the John Crow Mountains (Juniper and Parr 1998), and it is local in the Blue Mountains (BirdLife Jamaica Parrot Project in litt. 1998, 2000). It remains fairly common in suitable habitat, the population in Cockpit Country alone numbers 5,000 - 8,000 territorial pairs (Koenig 2001), but overall both range and population have decreased in the latter part of the 20th century (Juniper and Parr 1998).
It inhabits mid-level, wet limestone forest at elevations up to 1,200 m, flying considerable distances to feeding areas that include sea-level plantations (Collar 1997; Juniper and Parr 1998; BirdLife Jamaica Parrot Project in litt. 1998, 2000). Breeding takes place from March to August, in tree-cavities and, occasionally, rock-crevices (Collar 1997; Juniper and Parr 1998; BirdLife Jamaica Parrot Project in litt. 1998, 2000).
Population declines are attributable to habitat loss, trapping for the cage-bird trade, and the impact of invasive species, mainly via nest predation (Juniper and Parr 1998; BirdLife Jamaica Parrot Project in litt. 1998, 2000; Poole and Shepherd 2017; Gibson 2020).
The main driver of ongoing population reductions is nest predation by invasive species, particularly rats and mongoose (Gibson 2020). Hybridisation with escaped non-native Amazona parrots presents a further threat (S. Koenig in litt. 2007).
Nest trees are lost owing to illegal timber extraction in bauxite mining areas (S. Koenig in litt. 2007). Logging has however declined significantly throughout the species's range in recent years (L. Gibson in litt. 2020), currently totaling 6-7% over three generations (Global Forest Watch 2021). Population declines are exacerbated by the contraction of suitable habitat and range size caused by increased drought frequency due to climate change (L. Gibson in litt. 2020).
A major cause of nest failure is poaching for use as a cage-bird, but the level of trapping appears to have declined in recent years (L. Gibson in litt. 2020). The cutting of trees to trap nestlings may further reduce available nest-sites significantly (Juniper and Parr 1998; BirdLife Jamaica Parrot Project in litt. 1998, 2000).
Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. The species is protected under Jamaica's Wildlife Protection Act and Endangered Species Act 2000, which together prohibit keeping the species as a pet and local and international trade. It has been listed as threatened in Jamaica since 1986 (Juniper and Parr 1998). Since 1995, there has been work to delineate its range, estimate population sizes, identify factors limiting reproductive performance and train local people in research methods and techniques for long-term monitoring (BirdLife Jamaica Parrot Project in litt. 1998, 2000). Habitat in the Blue and John Crow Mountains has been declared a national park, but enforcement and management are weak (BirdLife Jamaica Parrot Project in litt. 1998, 2000). There is an on-going, high profile public awareness campaign to prevent bauxite mining in Cockpit Country by having the area declared "closed to mining" by Minister's Discretion (S. Koenig in litt. 2007). A captive breeding population is managed by Loro Parque Fundación.
28 cm. Chunky, green parrot with white facial markings. Green with white lores and frontal bar, blue forecrown, pink throat and upper breast, bluish primaries, and yellow bill. Similar spp. Black-billed Parrot A. agilis is smaller, duller and greener, has black bill, and flies with shallower and faster wing beats. Voice High tah-tah-eeeeep and bugling tuk-tuk-tuk-taaah in flight lower-pitched than A. agilis. Hints Birds are usually seen in pairs or small flocks, occasionally with A. agilis, and best located by call.
Text account compilers
Everest, J., Hermes, C.
Benstead, P., Gibson, L., Isherwood, I., Koenig, S., Mahood, S., Sharpe, C.J., Wege, D. & Wheatley, H.
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Amazona collaria. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org/species/factsheet/yellow-billed-amazon-amazona-collaria on 29/09/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org on 29/09/2023.