external image pr03.jpgKirsten
Wolf 2nd

The Puerto Rican Parrot

Background Information


The Puerto Rican Parrot is found only in Puerto Rico and is also reffered to as the Puerto Rican Amazon (Amazona vittata). Puerto Rico is the only place that these birds live in the wild and there are only 34-40 left living outside of captivity. They have been saved from extinction but there are still only 143 of them living in captivity for safe keeping.


Description


These vibrant birds are colored with bright emerald green feathers over the majority of their body. Above the beak is a hint of red coloring and some white exists around the eyes. They also have some bright blue color under their wings. Males and females look exactly the same with no color or shape differences whatsoever. The only way to determine the gender of a Puerto Rican Parrot is to get a DNA test or observe their behavior naturally throughout breeding season. Compared to other parrots they are fairly small animals, weighing only about 10 ounces and stretching to about 11 inches.


Diet


Their diet constists of wild fruits mainly, but nectar, bark, leaves, flowers, and seeds are also in the mix of their nutrition.


Breeding


Usually these parrots end up mating for life. The exceptions to this lifetime of mating would be if one bird dies or abandons the nest. They will reach their sexual maturity in the wild at about 4 years of age, but in captivity it only takes 3 years to mature. These birds normally lay 2-4 eggs at a time and the female will stay with them until they hatch for about 60-65 days.

external image Puerto_Rican_parrot.jpg

Threats


Human activity and deforestation is the main reason for the lack in population of these birds, but capturing them out of the nest for pet keeping and hunting are also involved in the destruction of this animal. Recovery efforts have been active since the year 1967 when the Puerto Rican Parrot entered the United States Fish and Wildlife Service list of endangered species. 70 of them were living at the time upon entering the list. Many were recovered and released into the wild in the years 2006 and 2008. The natural predators of this bird are the Red-tailed Hawk, Broad-winged Hawk, and the Pearly-eyed Thrasher.


Recovery


The goal to downlist the species to threatned status is set to be done by the year 2020. The plan is to create two different areas of living so they can expand from each area. Each population created would consist of 500 or more individuals. Another way to protect this animal would be to control its predators.