Protection Requested for Jamaica’s Rare Yellow-Billed Parrot

The Yellow-billed parrot, also known as the Yellow-billed Amazon (Amazona collaria), is endemic to Jamaica. Along with the (also endangered) black-billed parrots, they live mainly in undisturbed forest areas, such as the Cockpit Country in Trelawny and John Crow Mountains in Portland. Major populations are restricted to extant mid-level wet limestone forests of the John Crow and Blue Mountains and Cockpit Country. This latter region represents the stronghold of the Black-billed Parrot and the only region where both species occur sympatrically in significant numbers. As of 2008, populations have been estimated between 1000-2000 each, with the black-billed parrot thought to be the rarer of the two. Both populations are declining in numbers and range due to habitat loss and trapping.

Recently the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service included the yellow-billed parrot on their list of species categorized as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. This proposed rule also includes a special rule which would allow some activities otherwise prohibited under the ESA. The Service is seeking comments and information from all interested parties until December 12, 2011.

Other species included in the status review of threatened or endangered are the following: Blue-headed macaw (Primolius couloni), Crimson shining parrot (Prosopeia splendens), Great green macaw (Ara ambiguus), Grey-cheeked parakeet (Brotogeris pyrrhoptera), Hyacinth macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus), Military macaw (Ara militaris), Philippine cockatoo (Cacatua haematuropygia), Red-crowned parrot (Amazona viridigenalis), Scarlet macaw (Aramacao), White cockatoo (C. alba), and the Yellow-crested cockatoo (C. sulphurea).

See more at http://www.fws.gov/endangered/what-we-do/international-activities.html and http://www.cockpitcountry.com/YBPA.html

For more on endangered species in Jamaica, see http://www.jamaica-allspice.com/green_ja_species.htm

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