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Imperial Amazon Amazona imperialis
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Conservation action has slowly begun to improve the status of this species. Numbers have increased in recent years, but there may still be fewer than 250 mature individuals, qualifying the species as Endangered. If the population continues to increase, it will be eventually downlisted to Vulnerable unless there are concomitant decreases in available habitat.

Taxonomic source(s)
AOU. 1998. Check-list of North American birds. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.
Stotz, D. F.; Fitzpatrick, J. W.; Parker, T. A.; Moskovits, D. K. 1996. Neotropical birds: ecology and conservation. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

45 cm. Spectacular, purple-and-green parrot. Dark purple head, nape and mantle. Purple underparts with dark fringes giving scaled effect. Dull green thighs and vent. Green wings with red carpal. Purple speculum and blackish primaries. Reddish tail tipped green. Immature has green nape and neck. Similar spp. Red-necked Parrot A. arausiaca is smaller and largely green. Voice Loud, trumpet-like flight calls. Also variety of shrieks, whistles and squawks. Often quiet during middle of day.

Distribution and population
Amazona imperialis is endemic to Dominica, where it occurs in the Morne Diablotin area (primarily on the north-east and south-east slopes [Raffaele et al. 1998]), the Northern and Central Forest Reserves, and has recently re-established a small population in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park (Reillo 2001, Wiley et al. 2007, P. R. Reillo in litt. 2007). It is known to have declined significantly and numbered only 80-100 individuals in 1993. Conservation action increased the population to 150 birds by 2003 (P. R. Reillo in litt. 2003). At present Morne Diablotin National Park and its surrounds are thought to hold 100-175 individuals, with 50-75 in the Central Forest Reserve and c.50 in Morne Trois Pitons National Park and its surrounds. The total population is estimated at 250-350 individuals (Wege and Anadón-Irizarry 2008, P. R. Reillo in litt. 2012).

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 250-350 individuals in total, roughly equivalent to 160-240 mature individuals (P. R. Reillo in litt. 2012).

Trend justification
There are no new data on population trends, but the species is suspected to still be increasing at an unquantified rate owing to conservation efforts.

It mainly inhabits montane and elfin forest at 600-1,300 m, but forages down to 150 m in response to food shortages (Dominica Ministry of Agriculture and the Environment in litt. 2000, Snyder et al. 2000). It is highly sensitive to habitat modification, readily abandoning traditional foraging and nesting territories (Dominica Ministry of Agriculture and the Environment in litt. 2000). Nests are situated in cavities in tall forest trees (the same species as used by A. arausiaca), with breeding between February and June (coinciding with the dry season). The nest cavity is heavily festooned with vines and epiphytes, making observation of nesting activity difficult (Dominica Ministry of Agriculture and the Environment in litt. 2000). Despite the intensive work carried out towards this species' conservation, its ecology remains poorly known.

A combination of habitat loss (mainly conversion to plantations, especially bananas (Snyder et al. 2000), and hurricane-related damage), hunting for food and trapping for the cage-bird trade were the principal reasons for this species's decline up until 1990 (P. R. Reillo in litt. 2012). Local trade has been considerably reduced, if not eliminated, as a result of a successful education programme, but foreign bird-collectors may still pose a threat (Snyder et al. 2000). Competition for nest-sites from the more numerous A. arausiaca will presumably become more significant as lowland forest is lost and the two species come increasingly into contact (Dominica Ministry of Agriculture and the Environment in litt. 2000).

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix I and II. It is protected by domestic legislation. In recent years, there have been considerable efforts to protect suitable habitat and sensitise local citizens to its needs. Successful conservation education programmes have markedly reduced local trade. It is protected in the Northern Forest Reserve and the Central Forest Reserve, but important areas adjacent to these reserves remain unprotected (Dominica Ministry of Agriculture and the Environment in litt. 2000, Snyder et al. 2000). An area of 33 km2 of the Northern Forest Reserve has been designated as the Morne Diablotin National Park (Collar (1997a, Wiley et al 2007). It is also present in small numbers in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park (Reillo 2001, Wiley et al. 2007). Reports of the first successful captive breeding of the species were published in 2011 (Reillo et al. 2011).
Conservation Actions Proposed
Monitor the population and establish a structured captive breeding programme.  Continue enforcement of the protection of the Morne Diablotin and Morne Trois Pitons National Parks, and the Northern and Central Forest Reserves.  Study the ecology of this species and factors affecting its status (including interspecific competition) (Dominica Ministry of Agriculture and the Environment in litt. 2000, Zamore and Durand 1998, Wiley et al 2007).

Related state of the world's birds case studies

Collar, N. J. 1997. Psittacidae (Parrots). In: del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. (ed.), Handbook of the birds of the world, pp. 280-477. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Collar, N. J.; Butchart, S. H. M. 2013. Conservation breeding and avian diversity: chances and challenges. International Zoo Yearbook.

Collar, N. J.; Gonzaga, L. P.; Krabbe, N.; Madroño Nieto, A.; Naranjo, L. G.; Parker, T. A.; Wege, D. C. 1992. Threatened birds of the Americas: the ICBP/IUCN Red Data Book. International Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge, U.K.

Raffaele, H.; Wiley, J.; Garrido, O.; Keith, A.; Raffaele, J. 1998. Birds of the West Indies. Christopher Helm, London.

Reillo, P. R. 2001. Imperial recovery: Dominica's flagship parrot on the comeback. PsittaScene 13: 4-6.

Reillo, P. R.; Durand, S.; Burton, M. 2011. First captive breeding of the Imperial Parrot (Amazona imperialis). Zoo Biology 30: 328-341.

Snyder, N.; McGowan, P.; Gilardi, J.; Grajal, A. 2000. Parrots: status survey and conservation action plan 2000-2004. International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Wege, D. C.; Anadón-Irizarry, V. 2008. Important Bird Areas in the Caribbean: key sites for conservation. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

Wiley, J.W.; Gnam, R.S.; Koenig, S.E.; Dornelly, A.; Galvez, X.; Bradley, P.E.; White, T.; Zamore, M.; Reillo, P. R.; Anthony, D. 2004. Status and conservation of the family Psittacidae in the West Indies. Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 17(Special issue): 94-154.

Zamore, M. P.; Durand, S. 1998. Status and conservation of the Amazon parrots of the Commonwealth of Dominica.

Further web sources of information
Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) species/site profile. This species has been identified as an AZE trigger due to its IUCN Red List status and limited range.

Detailed species account from the Threatened birds of the Americas: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 1992). Please note, taxonomic treatment and IUCN Red List category may have changed since publication.

Recuento detallado de la especie tomado del libro Aves Amenazadas de las Americas, Libro Rojo de BirdLife International (BirdLife International 1992). Nota: la taxonomo

Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Isherwood, I., Mahood, S., Sharpe, C J, Wege, D., Khwaja, N.

Reillo, P.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Amazona imperialis. Downloaded from on 24/04/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 24/04/2014.

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

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Imperial Amazon (Amazona imperialis) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Endangered
Family Psittacidae (Parrots)
Species name author Richmond, 1899
Population size 160-240 mature individuals
Population trend Increasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 50 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species