Parrot Conservation On Dominica: Successes, Challenges, And Technological Innovations
Over the past half-century, Dominica’s endemic Amazon parrots, the Imperial and Red-necked (Amazona imperialis and A. arausiaca, respectively), have proven to be effective conservation flagships for Dominica’s diverse rainforest ecosystem. Continuous parrot-conservation and public-education efforts focusing on the Imperial, Dominica’s national bird and emblem, have achieved a broad base of public support and awareness, along with significant protection of parrot habitat, including the oldest forest stands on the island. Both parrot species’ secretive natures and Dominica’s terrain have impeded quantitative research into the parrots’ ecologies, even as a comprehensive parrot conservation program has yielded tangible results. Current field-research activities aim to quantify the parrots’ distribution and abundance using GPS/GIS survey methods, which contrast with conventional ornithological abundance estimates. Research teams also use new camera technology to monitor and document reproduction and parental care, and are quantifying the botanical inventories of critical parrot nesting and foraging habitats. The Dominica parrot-conservation program has stimulated novel research and enhanced protected-area policies island-wide, ensuring a future for Dominica’s vast montane forests and its native fauna.
Area of Interest: Dominica