Roosting of Yellow‐naped Parrots in Costa Rica: estimating the size and recruitment of threatened populations
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Many parrot populations are threatened with extinction due to habitat loss and collection for the pet trade. The loss of nest trees and chick poaching can drastically reduce reproductive success. However, due to the long life span of many parrots, populations are unlikely to become extinct rapidly even with complete reproductive failure. For parrots that travel in family groups, rapid estimates of reproductive success can be obtained by recording group sizes in areas where they congregate. We used roost counts over an 18-month period to estimate the size and productivity of a population of Yellow-naped Parrots (Amazona auropalliata auropalliata) in Costa Rica. Up to 300 birds were observed flying to roost on offshore islands near Curú National Wildlife Refuge. Roost counts were lowest during the breeding period (December-March), increased after fledging (April-July), and peaked during the late wet season (September-October). Increased food availability on the islands during the breeding season allowed the parrots to become seasonal island residents, and lowered roost counts during that period. We calculated reproductive parameters by assuming that groups of >2 birds were adults traveling with young. The percentage of young in the population was 12.5% and did not differ between years. Studies of group size in birds that form stable family groups, such as psittacines in the genera Amazona and Ara, are an inexpensive way to obtain estimates of the reproductive output of some parrot populations and determine if further study or intensive management are warranted. ©2007 Association of Field Ornithologists.
author list (cited authors)
Matuzak, G. D., & Brightsmith, D. J.