PUERTO RICAN AMAZON Amazona vittata»12” (30.5 cm) M/F similar»From Puerto Rica. Limited to Loquillo Forest on eastern part of island.»Survival depends on human intervention. None in pet trade.»CITES Appendix 1: Critically Endangered - On verge of extinction
The Puerto Rican Amazon is one of the most critically endangered birds in the world. There have been conservation efforts dating back to the late 1960s when there were only 70 birds but the population has see-sawed since that time. Several of attempts to help them actually backfired with a loss of birds. Despite the fact that the U.S. Government was supporting a recovery program, during the Vietnam war part of the parrot’s former habitat was used for napalm testing. When Columbus landed in the New World there were probably a million of these small Amazons. The low point was in the mid-1970s with only 13 individuals because of massive deforestation in their native habitat and hurricanes. Finally there is a successful captive breeding and reintroduction program. While the wild population is still in jeopardy with less than 3 dozen birds, there are now over 150 Puerto Rican Amazons in breeding aviaries and so far 40 captive bred birds have been introduced in the wild.