Bad news: There are only around 600 left.
The Ecuador Amazon (Amazona lilacina) was considered a subspecies of the red-lored Amazon (Amazona autumnalis).
While other subspecies of A. autumalis primarily live in lowland forests, the Ecuador Amazon parrot relied on mangroves and dry forest. This difference in habitat made researchers wonder if this was a different parrot species altogether.
Mark Pilgrim, the director general of Chester Zoo in the United Kingdom, led a study of the Educador Amazon parrot, and determined it was its own separate species.
The red-lored Amazon has a population of 5 milllion, while the Ecuardor Amazon has as few as 600 members.
The new species, A. lilacina, will be officially announced in Spring 2014.
Good news: A new species of parrot has been discovered. The Ecuador Amazon parrot, or Lilacine Amazon parrot, once believed to be subspecies of the red-lored Amazon parrot (Amazona autumnalis), was discovered to be its own separate species by a team of researchers from the Chester Zoo in the United Kingdom.
Bad news: With the discovery of the new species, researchers realized there were only around 600 left.
"I studied this particular parrot for my PhD,” said Mark Pilgrim, Chester Zoo director general and head of the study of the Ecuador Amazon parrot, in a latest field news report from the Chester Zoo, "and found sufficient evidence for the bird to be recognised as a species in its own right, a crucial step in getting some much needed protection. As you can imagine, this project is close to my heart — it’s estimated that there may be as few as 600 Ecuador Amazon parrots left in the wild but more work is needed to confirm this.”