Critically endangered species typically have very few remaining individuals, making it nearly impossible for people to spot them. However, the yellow-naped amazon, despite being critically endangered, is not hard to find in Costa Rica. Sadly, this large parrot is more commonly seen in bars or homes rather than in the treetops.
The yellow-naped amazon, also known as the yellow-naped parrot (Amazona auropalliata), is a large bird weighing over a pound and measuring about 14 inches long. They are mainly green, with a yellow patch on the back of their neck and red and blue highlights on their wings. These parrots inhabit areas from southern Mexico to northern Costa Rica, primarily along the Pacific coast.
Yellow-naped amazons travel in pairs or small groups and eat nuts, berries, seeds, fruits, and flowers. They nest in preexisting tree holes during the dry season and typically lay three eggs. Though once abundant, their population has experienced a 92% decline over the last three generations. Timothy Wright’s 2016 study found only 990 birds remaining in Costa Rica, primarily due to the pet trade’s impact on their wild population.
These parrots can produce a wide variety of squawks, toots, warbles, and screams, with different regions having distinct dialects. They can also mimic human speech. As a result, many yellow-naped amazons are captured, hand-raised, and taught to talk. Although this practice was once widespread in Costa Rica, environmental education campaigns now aim to change this trend.
Vincent Losasso, founder of Guanacaste Wildlife Monitoring, has worked extensively with rehabilitated yellow-naped amazons that were once pets. While these birds may entertain their visitors, the fact remains that they should be living in the wild, ensuring the continuation of their species. Despite their endangered status, Losasso has managed to capture footage of wild yellow-naped amazons on his camera traps, as seen in the video below.
Key Takeaways From Article
1. Visit Costa Rica to see the yellow-naped amazon: Despite being critically endangered, the yellow-naped amazon can still be spotted in Costa Rica. Plan a trip to this country to have a chance to see this rare species.
2. Search in the right places: While it may be difficult to spot yellow-naped amazons in their natural habitat, they are more commonly found in bars or even grandma’s houses. So, keep an eye out for them in these unexpected locations.
3. Learn about their appearance: To increase your chances of identifying a yellow-naped amazon, familiarize yourself with their physical characteristics. They are large birds, weighing over a pound and measuring about 14 inches long, mostly green in color with a distinctive yellow patch on the back of their necks and some red and blue highlights on their wings.
4. Explore the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica: Yellow-naped amazons are found mostly along the Pacific coast of southern Mexico to northern Costa Rica. Plan your travel itinerary along this region to maximize your chances of spotting them.
5. Be aware of their population decline: Understand the challenges faced by yellow-naped amazons, including their dramatic population decline. The pet trade and habitat destruction are major threats to their survival. Educate yourself about their conservation status and support initiatives that aim to protect them.
6. Consider visiting wildlife rescue centers: If you are interested in seeing yellow-naped amazons up close, consider visiting wildlife rescue centers in Costa Rica. These centers often house rescued birds that cannot be released back into the wild, providing a unique opportunity to observe and learn about these endangered parrots.