Health and Reproductive Assessment of Selected Puerto Rican Parrots (Amazona vittata) in Captivity

Susan Clubb, Jafet Velez, Michael M. Garner, Julia Zaias, Carolyn Cray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The Puerto Rican parrot (Amazona vittata) has become an iconic and high-profile conservation species. The cornerstone of the recovery plan for this critically endangered species is an active captive breeding program, management of the wild population, and a long-term reintroduction program. In 2002, 40 adult Puerto Rican parrots that had not produced viable offspring were selected for reproductive assessment at 2 aviary populations in Puerto Rico (Iguaca and Rió Abajo), which are the only sources of parrots for release. The goal was to enhance reproductive potential and produce productive pairings in an attempt to augment the population growth and provide ample individuals for reintroduction. Seven Hispanolian Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis) that were used as surrogate parents for the Puerto Rican parrots were also included in the study. This assessment included physical examination, endoscopic evaluation, hematologic and plasma biochemical profiles, viral screening, and hormonal assays. Results of general physical examination and hematologic and plasma biochemical testing revealed overall good health and condition of this subset of the population of Puerto Rican parrots; no major infectious diseases were found. Endoscopic examination also revealed overall good health and condition, especially of females. The apparent low fertility of male birds warrants further investigation. The findings helped to define causes of reproductive failure in the selected pairs and individual birds. New pairings resulting from the assessment helped to augment reproduction of this critically endangered species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-325
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Avian Medicine and Surgery
Volume29
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

Keywords

  • Amazona vittata
  • avian
  • endoscopy
  • psittacine bird reproduction
  • Puerto Rican parrot

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Small Animals

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