In September I joined colleagues from Guyra, Universidad Nacional Asunción, and Fauna y Vida to survey parrot populations in the department of Concepción. We conducted driving, stationary, and fixed transect counts. Along the way we also interviewed workers at the ranches and people with parrots in their homes. The picture that we gathered was that the macaws are heavily sought after for the illegal wildlife trade and have numbers that we surmise from anecdotal evidence and what we counted, are in very low numbers. The macaws in this area include the red-and-green, hyacinth, blue-and-yellow macaw, golden-collared, and blue-winged.
After last year’s survey we had been told that amazon parrots were not being poached, but unfortunately, that is not the case. The newspapers reported on turquoise-fronted amazon parrots being smuggled out of Paraguay headed towards Hong Kong just the week before we arrived here, and we saw this species in homes throughout the area. Our second week in this region, therefore, we concentrated on this species to see how they were doing, as well as the orange-winged and yellow-faced parrot, two recent additions to the bird list of Paraguay, and of whom little is known.
Turquoise-fronted amazon (Amazona aestiva) = 217
Orange-winged amazon (Amazona amazonica) = 150
Yellow-faced amazon (Alipiopsitta xanthops)= 5
Peach-fronted parakeets (Eupsittula aurea) = 19
Chevron-winged parakeets (Brotogeris chiriri)= 2
The pressures are great, and so is the beauty and wonder. Surely we can motivate ourselves and other yet-discovered-parrot-conservationists to take a stand here, to keep the parrots flying free in Paraguay.