Parrot Conservation in the Dominican Republic

Posted on 10th April 2017

Dr Matt Geary from our Conservation Biology Research Group, along with Professor Stuart Marsden from Manchester Metropolitan University, recently travelled to the Dominican Republic to discuss developing a research project on the Hispaniolan amazon parrot Amazonus ventralis as well as other Hispaniolan endemics.

Hispaniolan amazon (Amazonus ventralis) is a parrot species endemic to the island of the same name in the Caribbean. It is currently classified as vulnerable by the IUCN but much uncertainty remains around its population size and current range. It faces threats from land use change as well as pressure from the domestic pet trade. Dr Matt Geary from our Conservation Biology Research Group along with Professor Stuart Marsden from Manchester Metropolitan University recently travelled to the Dominican Republic to discuss developing a research project on this species as well as other Hispaniolan endemics. The project will be developed along with Professor Nigel Collar from Birdlife and Dr Yolanda Leòn from Grupo Jaragua, the Birdlife partner in the Dominican Republic.

Dr Geary and Prof. Marsden met with Dr Leòn as well as other colleagues from Grupo Jaragua and travelled to several Dominican National Parks to observe parrots in the wild and discuss their conservation. They were able to observe parrot nesting habitat in both the Jaragua National Park and the Sierra de Bahoruco and also travelled to Ebona Verde Scientific Reserve in the Cordillera central. As well as parrots they were able to observe other cavity nesting endemics such as the Hispaniolan parakeet (Psittacara chloropterus) and Hispaniolan trogon (Priotelus roseigaster). This research project aims to establish regional and national abundance for the Hispaniolan amazon, along with other endemics, and provide information on its habitat preferences. It will also try to investigate the impact of the pet trade on this species and seek to understand motivations behind parrot collecting and ownership.

Photos courtesy of Dr Yolanda Leòn