25 July 2011

Puerto Rican Parrot

The endangered Puerto Rican Parrot, eluded me in the rainforest but honestly, I didn't search very hard.  I went on this vacation for a little relaxation and fun, so birding was just the icing on the cake.  I must admit, many of my hours were spent looking at birds or for them but the main agenda was to have fun swimming, hiking, and taking in the new sights with EmilyLark.

I did however learn a few things about the Puerto Rican Parrot while on my tropical vacation.  Amazona vittata is the only parrot species to still be found on the island and it's endemic to Puerto Rico.  In 2006 the population was estimated at 40 individuals.  The widespread loss of the species was mostly due to habitat destruction and other human associated issues.  A captive breeding program has helped replenish the small stocks.  The poster above that I found in San Juan discusses the successes of the program so far. 

This U.S. endangered species and IUCN critically endangered species seems to be in a battle for its survival.  While I know that the Luquillo Avairy and Iguaca Aviary are doing all it can to re-establish the population, it's still a fact that only a small number remain in the wild.  One day I hope to return to Puerto Rico and find my lifer parrot thriving but until then, I do hope that this species is given another chance to survive in our human-altered world.

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