Saint Vincent Amazon

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Saint Vincent Amazon
At the Botanical Gardens, Kingstown, Saint Vincent
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Psittaciformes
Superfamily: Psittacoidea
Family: Psittacidae
Subfamily: Arinae
Tribe: Androglossini
Genus: Amazona
Species: A. guildingii
Binomial name
Amazona guildingii
(Vigors, 1837)
Synonyms[2]
  • Amazona guildingi (Vigors, 1837)

The Saint Vincent Amazon (Amazona guildingii), also known as Saint Vincent Parrot and Guilding's Amazon, is the only parrot that lives in the island of Saint Vincent in the Caribbean.

It is a large, multi-colored Amazon parrot with a yellowish white, blue and green head, greenish-bronze upperparts plumage, and violet blue-green wings.

It was described by the Irish zoologist Nicholas Aylward Vigors and named the species Psittacus Guildingii after Lansdown Guilding.[3]

Description[change | edit source]

At the Botanical Gardens, Kingstown, Saint Vincent

The Saint Vincent Amazon is a 40 cm (16 in) long amazon parrot; the plumage of this attractive species is highly variable, with virtually no two birds appearing alike, with a yellowish white, blue and green head, greenish-bronze upperparts, violet blue-green wings, grey feet, and reddish eye. Its tail feathers are blue with broad yellow tips. Both sexes are similar.[4]

There are two different colour morphs:[a] a more common ‘yellow-brown’ morph, and a less common ‘green’ morph. Although both morphs are broadly similar in appearance, the upperparts of the 'green' morph are mainly dull-green and the head is bluish white.[5]

Range and habitat[change | edit source]

The Saint Vincent Amazon is endemic to the heavily forested mountains of the Caribbean island of Saint Vincent in the Lesser Antilles.

It lives in rainforests in the island's central mountains, from 125 to 1,000 m (410 to 3,281 ft); it prefers mountains and valleys at low elevation because there are larger, mature trees needed for the nests.[4]

Biology[change | edit source]

The Saint Vincent Amazons live in groups and feed on the upper parts of large trees. Its diet consists mainly of fruits, seeds, flowers and leaves of several species of the rainforest.[6]

They breed between January and June (mostly February-May) and their nests are in holes in mature, large trees. The female usually lays two to three eggs.[7]

Threats and Status[change | edit source]

The combined effects of habitat loss, hunting for food, the capture to trade them as pets, and natural disasters (volcanoes and hurricanes, made that the number of Saint Vincent Amazon declined through the 20th century.[6]

Due to all these contributing factors, the St. Vincent Parrot is considered Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.[1] It is listed on Appendix I and II of CITES.[8]

Conservation[change | edit source]

A group of conservation measures has been able to avoid the extinction of the St Vincent Amazon, including: the enforcement of international and domestic legislation protecting this species from hunting and trade; the protection of habitat through the establishment of the St Vincent Parrot Reserve; and the delivery of successful public education campaigns.[6][4]

The Nicholas Wildlife Aviary Complex, located within the Botanic Gardens St. Vincent maintains a vital captive breeding and conservation program to conserve the St Vincent Parrot.

National bird[change | edit source]

On October 27, 1979, A. guildingii was declared the national bird of St. Vincent and the Grenadines as part of the country's first independence celebration.[6]

Gallery[change | edit source]

Notes[change | edit source]

  1. A morph is one of two or more distinct types of a given species, often distinct colour forms, which occur in the same population at the same time (that is, they are not geographical or seasonal variations).

References[change | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 BirdLife International (2012). "Amazona guildingii". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/106001689. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  2. "Catalogue of Life - Amazona guildingii". Catalogue of life. 25 June 2013. http://www.catalogueoflife.org/col/details/species/id/11913339. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  3. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, pt. 4-8: 80. (1836-1840). Available on line in Biodiversity Heritage Library
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "St vincent Amazon Amazona guildingii". BirdLife International (2013). http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/speciesfactsheet.php?id=1689. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  5. Nichols, Holly A.J.; Nichols, Thomas Duncan (1973). "St. Vincent parrot: Plumage polymorphism, juvenile plumage and polymorphism". Bulletin of the British Ornithologist's Club 93: 120-123. Available on line in Biodiversity Heritage Library
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Culzac-Wilson, Lystra; Amos Glasgow, Andrew Lockhart, Fitzroy Springer and Andrew Wilson (January 2003). "The Amazona guildingii: Conservation Status and Future Survival" (pdf) in 7th International Aviculturist Society Convention. International Aviculturists Society. 2003 Proceedings of the International Aviculturists Society . Retrieved on 4 July 2013. 
  7. "Saint Vincent Amazons or St. Vincent Parrots (Amazona guildingii)". Avian Web. http://www.avianweb.com/saintvincentamazonparrots.html. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  8. "Amazona guildingii". Species Database. UNEP-WCMC. http://www.unep-wcmc-apps.org/isdb/Taxonomy/tax-species-result.cfm?SpeciesNo=1055. Retrieved 5 July 2013.

Other websites[change | edit source]