Rare Species Conservatory Foundation

Red-necked AmazonRed-Necked Amazon Parrot (Amazona arausiaca) - Description: The Red-necked Amazon gets its name from the reddish-orange featheres found on its lower throat. Known locally as the Jaco, the Red-neck has blue feathers on the forehead, crown and around the eyes. The blue tends to fade to grey at the upper breast. The rest of the body is covered in deep green feathers. A broad band of yellow-green runs across the tip of the tail, and the beak and feet are light grey. The iris is bright orange, and the skin around the eyes is grey-black. Jacos average about 40 cm in length and can weigh between 550 and 650 g.

Range/Habitat: The Jaco is found only on the Caribbean island of Dominca and lives throughout the montane and sub-montane forests of Morne Diablotin and Morne Trois Pitons National Parks, Northern and Central Forest Reserves, and private and unallocated State Lands above 1500 ft. elevation. This species also forages at lower altitudes in agricultural areas and fringe forest all the way to the northwest and northeast coasts.

Diet: Flowers, shoots, seeds and fruits of rainforest trees and plants, citrus and agricultural crops.

Social Organization: The Jaco is highly social and flocks in groups of 30 or more during the non-breeding season. Hightly territorial during nesting, breeding commences from January to March, with fledging from May through July. The Jaco has a clutch size of three, and the female incubates the eggs which are laid in deep cavities formed in rainforest trees. Chicks hatch after 26-28 days and breeding pairs typically fledge two chicks per year. Jaco pairs exhibit high nest site fidelity and may occupy the same nest cavity for many years.

Conservation Status: The Jaco is listed as CITES Appendix I and is categorized as threatened. The current population estimate is 700-900 birds. A group of nine non-releasable birds reside at the Parrot Conservation and Research Centre, located in Dominica's capital city of Rosseau.

Threats to Survival: Persecution by farmers and poaching for the illegal pet trade, human disturbance of forest habitat, encroachment, hurricanes, and loss of habitat to agriculture.

Conservation: Broad-scale, comprehensive campaign that includes protection of vast pristine forest habitat, progressive protected-area policies, continuous field research, recent revision of wildlife legislation, establishment of the PCRC, training and support for staff of Dominica's Forestry, Wildlife and Parks Division, and acquisition of buffer areas and essential habitat for inclusion in Dominica's National Parks System. Fresh fruit processing is being encouraged among farmers and distributors to minimize storage of agricultural crops on trees, thereby reducing crop depredation by Jacos and other wildlife.

Education: Since its inception in July 2001 as a joint effort between Dominica's Forestry, Wildlife, and Parks Division and RSCF, a Public Service Announcement Program has proven effective in delivering targeted environmental/conservation education messages to the public. Over 35 PSA's, spanning commercial and governmental broadcast radio, television, and print media have been produced and aired. Themes include wildlife, forests, parrots, environmental stewardship, natural resource protection, hunting regulations, and environmental policy issues. Narrators range from school children to senior citizens, and Forestry officers to local celebrities. As radio remains the predominant daytime news source for most Dominicans, the 15-second PSA spots on commercial stations DBS (Dominica Broadcasting Service) and KAIRI-FM, and non-profit Voice of Life Radio offer the greatest exposure to the widest audience. DBS currently airs various combinations of PSA's (at Forestry's discretion) two to three times daily free of charge, in exchange for standard studio/production fees for PSA's at the DBS studio. Forestry and DBS have also teamed to produce Creole PSA's for audiences on the east coast for whom English is a second language. The popular 15- and 30-second PSA's are also aired repeatedly on the Voice of Life (charitable AM/FM Christian radio station) at substantially discounted rates.

Click here for more information about Dominica's Parrot Conservation Programs.