Conservationist laud increase in number of endangered parrot species in Dominica

Conservationist laud increase in number of endangered parrot species in Dominica

By TDN Wire Staff
April 23, 2015 12:50 A.M

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The Siserrou and Jaco parrots can be found only in Dominica
Roseau, Dominica (TDN) A leading conservationist is praising ongoing efforts in Dominica related to two endemic species the Jaco (Red necked Amazon) and Sisserou ( Amazona imperialis ) parrots.

Founder of the US-based Rare Species Conservatory Foundation, Dr. Paul Reillo says that there is a marked increase in the number of the parrots found on the Island.

Both the Jaco and the Sisserou parrots are only found on the island of Dominica. Their numbers were decimated by Hurricane David in 1979 and to a lesser extent by poaching and capture. At one point there was believed to be less than 50 of the Sisserou parrots and about 100 of the Jaco. As a result, they were both placed on the endangered species list.

At the same time in the mid 1980’s the government introduced laws to protect the birds making it illegal to capture or remove them from their natural habitat. This was backed up by serious efforts at enforcement including the arrest and prosecution of some offenders.

Dr Reillo credits this intervention for saving the species noting that “when countries adopt laws to protect natural habitats, the result is gratifying.”

“Going up to Carholm and Syndicate, the parrots were very infrequent. Now, some 19 years later, we can see a recovery which rivals the populations of these birds prior to Hurricane David in 1979.” Dr Reillo added.

The birds are known to favour the rainforest near the Morne Diablotins and the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, and can also be observed elsewhere in the lush verdant forests of Dominica.

Dr Reillo estimates that there are now at least 400 Sisserou parrots in Dominica and 1500 Jacko parrots rivalling their numbers prior to 1979.

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