The Puerto Rican Parrot Recovery Program is an effort to conserve, protect, and manage the wild and captive populations of this endemic parrot in order to downlist the species from endangered to threatened. The Puerto Rican parrot (Amazona vittata) is only found in Puerto Rico and is considered one of the 10 most endangered bird species in the world. One of nine Amazona parrots occurring in the West Indies, it is largely green with a red forehead and blue flight feathers. This species is one of the smallest in its genus. This parrot has been listed as an endangered species since 1967.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with the Commonwealth’s Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Puerto Rico Conservation Trust to increase the wild and captive populations of this magnificent species. Currently, a minimum of 25 to 28 individuals survive in the wild in the El Yunque National Forest in eastern Puerto Rico and 22 to 28 in the Río Abajo Forest in north-central Puerto Rico. Two captive population facilities hold more than 228 individual parrots at the Iguaca Aviary and the José L. Vivaldi Aviary in eastern and north-central Puerto Rico. These captive breeding facilities play a key role in the parrot recovery program. Ongoing captive breeding efforts and reintroduction of Puerto Rican parrots into the wild continue to be the main goal of the endangered species program with the hope of restoring the Puerto Rican Parrot to the point where it is again a secure, self-sustaining member of its ecosystem.
For press release, see http://www.fws.gov/southeast/news/2009/r09-034.html