At the Zoo
The Vinaceous Amazons can be found in the free-flighted South American Tropical Rainforest and Aviary.
- The word “vinaceous” means “of the color of red wine" and refers to the purple-maroon patch on their belly.
- Vinaceous amazon calls are a variety of sounds including raucous and continuous notes, trilling flight calls, "squeaky door" notes, purring sounds and loud contact and alarm calls.
These are medium-sized, stocky green parrots, usually around 11 inches tall. They are mainly identified by a purple-maroon section on their abdomen. Their feathers have black edges resulting in a scaly appearance, and they have a small red patch on their forehead, or “front.” The beak is unique in that it has a deep burgundy coloration towards the face.
Vinaceous amazons are found in Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay, in subtropical or tropical moist forests and plantations. They are arboreal, diurnal, and herbivorous, feeding primarily on tree seeds. They will occasionally eat buds, berries, flowers, fruits and young eucalyptus and pine leaves as well.
They are generally found in pairs or small flocks with larger groups of around 30 in July-August. Vinaceous amazons nest in tree cavities and may breed in loose colonies and sometimes on cliffs.
Status In The Wild
This species is listed as endangered by the IUCN due to rapid population decline owing to extensive habitat loss and fragmentation, compounded by trade, and rapid declines are projected to continue.
Current conservation efforts focus mainly on protecting parks and other wilderness areas for vinaceous amazon habitat. This is only partially successful because the parrots use habitat outside of the parks for most parts of their life cycle, including the critical period of reproduction. Environmental education is the main focus to reduce capture of chicks; the population has been monitored since 2005. Successful breeding in captivity is also underway.
Future proposed conservation actions focus on population monitoring and scientific study on reproductive biology. Better enforcement of anti-trafficking laws at sites where the species is captured would also be extremely beneficial.