|At the Parrot Conservation and Research Centre, Roseau, Dominica|
The Imperial Amazon (Amazona imperialis) also known as the Imperial Parrot, Dominican Amazon, August Amazon, or Sisserou, is a green-and-purple-plumaged amazon parrot. It is the largest member in the diverse genus Amazona measuring 45 cm (18 in) in length and weighing up to 900 g (2 lbs) when fully grown. The Imperial Parrot has a green back, purple neck, green-tipped red tail and purple underparts. The sexes are similar.
The Imperial Amazon is endemic to mountain forests of the Caribbean island nation of Dominica in the Lesser Antilles, where it is the national bird and is featured on the Dominican flag. On Dominica, one of the last remaining habitats of the Imperial Amazon is in the slopes of Morne Diablotins, the highest volcanic peak of the Caribbean islands. Its diet consists mainly of fruits and seeds. It nests in hollow trees covered with vines or plants.
The Imperial Amazon has an Endangered status on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The small population of 150 to 250 mature individuals is threatened by ongoing habitat loss, illegal trapping for the pet trade, deforestation, encroachment, competition with the Red-necked Amazon and owls for nesting, and occasional hurricane-related damage. Much of the forest that the Imperial Amazon resides in is being turned into plantations. It is listed on Appendix I of CITES making trade in wild-caught birds illegal and it is also protected by local laws.
The hypothetical extinct "Guadeloupe Parrot" ("A. violacea") said to occur one major island further north but only known from old descriptions is generally considered this species or a very close relative. A bone found on Marie-Galante (between Dominica and Guadeloupe) has been assigned to "A. violacea" but may be taken to suggest that A. imperialis inhabited and/or was traded between all three islands in prehistoric times.
- BirdLife International (2012). "Amazona imperialis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
- Birdlife International March 2004
- "Dominica's National Flag". Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica. Retrieved 19 November 2009.
- "Foundation Dies to Save Bird". Earth Island Journal. Retrieved 29 November 2010.
- "Imperial Amazon Parrot". Atlantic PC, inc. Retrieved 29 November 2010.
- "Imperial Amazon or Sisserou". Rare Species Conservatory Foundation. Retrieved 29 November 2010.
- Olson, S. L.; E. J. Máiz López (2008). "New evidence of Ara autochthones from an archeological site in Puerto Rico: a valid species of West Indian macaw of unknown geographical origin (Aves: Psittacidae)" (pdf). Caribbean Journal of Science 44 (2): 215–222.
- Media related to Amazona imperialis at Wikimedia Commons
- ARKive - images and movies of the Imperial Parrot (Amazona imperialis)
- BirdLife Species Factsheet
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