Companion Parrots

In the Wild

Making a Difference

Parrot News

Special Thanks

Home » Parrot News

Success for breeding program for Red-browed Amazon in Brazil

By David Waugh, Loro Parque Fundación

Red-browed Amazon © Louri Klemann Jr

The Institute for Research and Nature Conservation (Instituto de Pesquisa e Conservação da Natureza – Idéia Ambiental) of Curitiba, Brazil, is conducting a project for the conservation of the Red-browed Amazon (Amazona rhodocorytha) in the wild, and in 2006 - as an insurance policy - also began a parallel project to establish a captive breeding programme in the city.

The Red-browed Amazon, endemic to the Atlantic forest of eastern Brazil, is one of the most endangered mainland Amazons. It is threatened by habitat destruction and fragmentation, as well as the removal of young from the nests for illegal trade as pets. Less than 10% of the original habitat remains, and the wild population could be as low as 845 birds - and it continues to decline.

With the financial support of the Loro Parque Fundación, Spain, and the American Federation of Aviculture, a breeding centre has been constructed on land owned by another partner, the Curitiba City Zoo. This scientific breeding centre can contribute to a genetically viable population of the species in captivity, exchange information with other breeders, and be used for the possible reintroduction of birds back to the wild. Led by Louri Klemann Jr of Idéia Ambiental, the project also benefits from the advice of Pedro Scherer-Neto of the Curitiba Natural History Museum (Museu de História Natural Capão da Imbuia).

Red-browed Amazons © Louri Klemann Jr

Louri commenced the captive population with 21 birds which had been confiscated by the Brazilian authorities and deposited in the new centre by IBAMA (Brazilian Institute of Environment and Natural Resources). Following quarantine and gender determination, these birds were placed in a large aviary to choose their own mates, creating at least seven pairs for breeding, which were then transferred to the breeding aviaries.

The Red-browed Amazon does not easily breed in captivity, and to date few breeders can report successes. Therefore, two breeding seasons have been required for the birds in the Curitiba centre to reach maturity, and to feel comfortable with their surroundings.

Red-browed Amazon feeding young © Louri Klemann Jr

According to the most recent news, the first pair is breeding,
and is currently rearing three healthy chicks.  The other pairs
are under close observation for signs that they might also
breed successfully this year.

Editor’s Note: Pedro Scherer-Neto will be one of the speakers at the Parrots International Symposium on 13th - 15th May 2010 in San Diego, California. See Parrot Events on our home page for further details.

blogs from the field - parrot conservation in real time