This species has been uplisted to Vulnerable because information on levels of exploitation and habitat loss, and local population trends, suggest that the species is undergoing at least a rapid population decline. The rate of decline may in fact be very rapid; however, further data are required to confirm this, in which case the species may qualify for uplisting to Endangered.
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.
Distribution and populationAmazona auropalliata
36 cm. Typically robust and predominantly green Amazona species, showing bright yellow nape patch and bright red outer four secondaries, forming a speculum. Distal half of tail sometimes yellowish green. Bill and bare skin around eyes pale to dark grey. Typically vocal, uttering a variety of squawks, screams and whistles.
is found in Mexico
and Central America, occurring along the Pacific slope of the isthmus in southern Mexico (Oaxaca and Chiapas), Guatemala
, El Salvador
and north-western Costa Rica
, the Bay Islands (Roatán and Guanaja) of Honduras
, and the Caribbean slope in eastern Honduras and north-eastern Nicaragua (Juniper and Parr 1998). The total population has been estimated at fewer than 50,000 individuals (A. Panjabi in litt
. 2008), although it may actually number fewer than 10,000 individuals (J. Gilardi in litt
. 2011); however, more data are required to verify this. A population density of 0.054 individuals/ha was recorded in southern Rivas department, Nicaragua, during surveys in 2007-2008 (Lezama-López 2009). The species is thought to be in rapid decline, probably throughout most of its range, owing to the loss and degradation of its habitats and unsustainable exploitation for trade. An estimated overall population decline of c.50% from c.1980 to 2000 has been reported (Anon. 2008), although this requires confirmation. Preliminary surveys and observations suggest that the population in southern Guatemala has plummeted since the 1990s (L. Joyner in litt
. 2011). Interviews with local elders in south-western El Salvador provide anecdotal evidence that the species has undergone a significant decline since the 1950s and 1960s (R. Bjork in litt
. 2011). In the early 1990s, the population in Gracias a Dios, Honduras, was estimated at c.123,000 birds; however, by this time the species had been nearly extirpated from Choluteca and El Valle (Wiedenfeld 1993). Surveys in Nicaragua indicate a steep decline in the species’s abundance between 1994-1995 and 2004 (Lezama et al
. 2004), and locals in some areas report that the species has disappeared from the vicinity of human settlements (Grijalva 2008). The population in Costa Rica also appears to be in decline (T. Wright in litt
. 2011). Although the Costa Rican population is regarded as one of the most secure, local people report that the species has declined since the 1970s and 1980s (A. Salinas in litt
. 2011).Population justification
Partners in Flight estimated the population to number fewer than 50,000 individuals (A. Panjabi in litt.
2008), thus it is placed in the band 20,000-49,999 individuals here.Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in rapid decline owing to on-going habitat destruction and unsustainable levels of hunting, a suspicion that is supported by observations of local population trends.Ecology
It inhabits semi-arid woodland, arid scrub and savannas, mangroves, clearings in deciduous forest, Pacific swamp-forest, evergreen gallery forest and sometimes secondary growth in agricultural landscapes (Juniper and Parr 1998, R. Bjork in litt
The species is threatened by habitat loss and degradation, driven primarily by the expansion of agriculture, and capture for local and international trade (Juniper and Parr 1998, Anon. 2008). Deforestation has been a prevalent threat in all range states (Grijalva 2008). For example, mangrove forests in the Gulf of Fonseca region are being cleared for the development of aquaculture and extraction of firewood and timber (Grijalva 2008). In Honduras, the species has been recorded as being c.93% less common in modified habitats, such as cultivation, compared to broadleaved forest (Wiedenfeld 1993). It is considered one of the most sought-after psittacines in the Central American pet trade
, owing to the species’s vocal capabilities (Wiedenfeld 1993, R. Bjork in litt
. 2011 J. Gilardi in litt
. 2011). During the 1990s, close to 100% of known nests in southern Guatemala were subject to poaching, and significant areas of habitat have been lost to the expansion of sugarcane cultivation (L. Joyner in litt
. 2011). In south-western El Salvador, the species also suffers heavy nest-poaching, as well as cavity occupation by Africanised Bees (R. Bjork in litt
. 2011). It has been reported that each year c.5,000 young A. auropalliata
are smuggled out of La Mosquitia region, Honduras (per
O. Andino in litt
. 2011), although this has not been verified. Such numbers would not be unrealistic given that, on average, 8,388 birds were recorded in export from Honduras each year in the period 1987-1989 (Wiedenfeld 1993). The numbers of this species that are recorded in export from Nicaragua appear to be decreasing (Lezama et al
. 2004); however, nest poaching is still high (J. A. Díaz Luque in litt
. 2011, M. Lezama in litt
. 2011), and thought to affect over 50% of nests in Rivas department (M. Lezama in litt
. 2011). In Costa Rica, roughly a third of nests were raided in one study, accounting for c.85% of the all nest failures observed (Wright et al
. 2001, Grijalva 2008), although in one study conducted near Liberia, up to 100% of the nests located by researchers at study sites had been poached (A. Salinas in litt
. 2011). It is thought that twice as many are taken from the wild than are recorded in export, based on a mortality rate of 54% during capture and transit (Pérez and Zúñiga 1998 in Grijalva 2008), although a survival rate of 1 in 3 or 4 has also been reported (per
O. Andino in litt
. 2011). Anthropogenic threats are thought to exacerbate the effects of poor rates of recruitment to the breeding population (Grijalva 2008).Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix I. The species occurs in a number of protected areas. Efforts have been underway to get a c.4,000-ha area east Monterrico on the Pacific coast of Guatemala declared as a protected area (C. Muccio in litt
. 2011). The species has been the subject of a number of local studies, some on-going, aimed at gathering information on population trends and threats. The extent of wildlife exploitation for trade has been highlighted by local media, for example in Honduras (per
O. Andino in litt
. 2011).Conservation Actions Proposed
Carry out coordinated surveys across the species's range in order to quantify the total population size. Monitor population trends through regular surveys. Monitor rates of off-take for trade through regular surveys of local people and officials. Monitor rates of habitat loss and degradation throughout the species's range. Conduct awareness-raising activities to reduce exploitation. Increase the area of suitable habitat that receives effective protection.
Anon. 2008. Yellow-naped Parrots under threat in Nicaragua. Cyanopsitta 91: 14-15.
Collar, N. J.; Butchart, S. H. M. 2013. Conservation breeding and avian diversity: chances and challenges. International Zoo Yearbook.
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). 2002. Consideration of Proposals for Amendment of Appendices I and II (CoP12). Santiago.
Grijalva, A. E. A. 2008. Monitoreo de la â€œlora nuca amarillaâ€ (Amazona aurocapilliata) como especie clave y estabecimiento de sitios importantes para su conservaciÃ³n en el area de conservaciÃ³n BahÃa de Jiquilisco, UsulutÃ¡n. Miniterio de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, San Salvador.
Juniper, T.; Parr, M. 1998. Parrots: a guide to the parrots of the world. Pica Press, Robertsbridge, UK.
Lezama-LÃ³pez, M. 2009. Estado de conservaciÃ³n de loro nuca amarilla (Amazona auropaliata) en al corredor biolÃ³gico paso del istmo, Rivas, Nicaragua. In: Rich, T. D.; Arizmendi, C.; Demarest, D. W.; Thompson, C. (ed.), Fourth International Partners in Flight Conference: Tundra to Tropics, pp. 252â€“257.
Lezama, M.; Vilchez, S.; Mayorga M.; CastellÃ³n, R. 2004. Monitoreo de PsitÃ¡cidos, 2004 â€“ Estado Actual y ConservaciÃ³n. Univesidad Centroamericana, Managua.
Wiedenfeld, D. A. 1993. Status and management of Psittacines in northeastern Honduras.
Wright, T. F.; Toft, C. A.; Enkerlin-Hoeflich, E.; Gonzalez-Elizondo, J.; Albornoz, M.; RodrÃguez-Ferraro, A.; Rojas-SuÃ¡rez, F.; Sanz, V.; Trujillo, A.; Beissinger, S. R.; Berovides, V. A.; GÃ¡lvez, X. A.; Brice, A. T.;â€¦authors continued in notes. 2001. Nest poaching in neotropical parrots. Conservation Biology 15: 710-720.
Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species
Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection
Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Taylor, J.
Andino, O., Bjork, R., Díaz Luque, J., Gilardi, J., Joyner, L., Komar, O., Lezama, M., Muccio, C., Panjabi, A., Salinas, A., Wright, T.
IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Amazona auropalliata. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 31/10/2014.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 31/10/2014.
This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000)
Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004)
Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.
To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife
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