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Learn to recycle, reduce, reuse and revere with Environmental Resources from Gale

Golden Parakeet

Aratinga guarouba

Status: Endangered, FWS
Status: Endangered,IUCN
Listed by FWS: December 2, 1970
Family: Psittacidae (Parrot)
Description: Green and yellow parakeet with dark green feathers, hooked beak, and yoke-toed feet.
Habitat: Rain forests of northeastern Brazil.
Food: Seeds
Reproduction: Clutch size of six eggs.
Threats: Illegal poaching and collection, dam and highway construction.
Range: Brazil (Parta and Maranhao)

Description

The Golden parakeet, Aratinga guarouba, is a spectacularly colored green and yellow bird. The body is covered with yellow plumage accented by dark green flight feathers and outer wing coverts. It has a hooked beak in which the upper mandible is curved downward and the bottom mandible is smaller, fitting under the upper.

Behavior

A. guarouba is gregarious and can be found in groups. Altercations between foreign intruders are first contended with by the use of the beak, which can inflict a great deal of damage. This species also is known to lay down a set of appeasing postures, such as a sleeping position, or by hiding its beak. Disputes between parakeets are usually met with a series of poses. Sex is initiated by bowing head, pumping, hopping, wing flicking and flapping, tail wagging and strutting. Cocks may also raise their head feathers. If the female is physiologically set for copulation and she is enticed by the male, she will crouch over a perch with her wings and tail raised. Copulation may last up to 90 seconds at which time the female threatens the male.A. guarouba lays up to six eggs at a time and the female is responsible for incubation.A. guarouba is also known as the Golden conure. This species is also called the Queen of Bavaria's conure.

Habitat

A. guarouba inhabits the rainforests of Northeastern Brazil.

Distribution

This species' past and present distribution is from Parta and Maranhao of northeastern Brazil.

Threats

Collection of the species to fill a demand for cage-birds was the primary contributor to A. guarouba's rare status. In fact A. guarouba is the highest prized specimen among aviculturists and can still be obtained through illegal poaching and collection.Habitat destruction is now compounding the affects of low population numbers. The Trans-Amazon and the Belem to Brasilia highway were constructed only through the clearing of millions of acres of forest. The construction of the Tucurui Dam will inundate what is left of this species' forested habitat, which will further pressure this already rare bird.

Conservation and Recovery

International trade in the golden parakeet is prohibited by CITES. It is a protected species in Brazil, but there is much illegal collecting for the lucrative pet trade and its rainforest habitat is rapidly disappearing. Conservation of this species requires the strict prohibition of wild captures, and the protection of large tracts of its essential natural habitat. The golden parakeet breeds well in captivity, and this may eventually be taken advantage of to provide birds for release to supplement the increasingly sparse wild populations.

Source: Beacham's Guide to International Endangered Species, Gale Group. 2001.

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