The inhabitants of the peninsula should feel fortunate to live in the only place in the world where the Yucatan parrot (Amazona xantholora), an endemic species whose main threat is illegal trafficking, a practice unfortunately rooted in the region, can be sighted.
This parrot measures between 25 and 28 centimeters in length and can weigh between 200 and 230 grams. It is a very similar species to the white-fronted parrot, so they are often confused, especially when flying, but it has particular characteristics: a dark spot under the eye, a bright red outline, and a yellow beak.
In the peninsula eight species of parrots of the 22 that exist in the country can be observed; and the Yucatecan parrot is the only endemic one, although there are some records in Belize, which would be its distribution limit. It is not migratory, but a resident.
Yucatan parrots -and in general- usually feed on fruits, seeds, leaves and some shoots of species such as sapote, ramón, nance, ficus, tropical chestnut, ciricote, chacá, and most wild fruit species serve them for subsistence.
Faced with this situation, no Yucatan parrot can be considered a pet. Do not buy wild parrots and become aware of this environmental problem.
Among their natural predators are some felines, especially during their reproductive period, when they are more vulnerable because they are only in their nests. There are also birds of prey and boas that feed on them.
As for their reproductive period, this takes place at the beginning of the year, especially at the end of January; and there are even records that this stage can last until May.
Parrots -and parrots in general- are very long-lived species; the larger they are, the longer they live. Macaws, for example, can live up to 80 years; and parrots can live up to 40 years, depending on their environment.
The Yucatan parrot is considered a threatened species, according to the 2010 Mexican Official Standard. All parrot species in Mexico are in some category of risk: 11 are in danger of extinction, eight are threatened and three are under protection.
The Yucatan parrot threatened by illegal trade
The main threat to the Yucatan parrot is illegal trafficking, that is, the plundering of its eggs and chicks for illegal trade, as well as the capture of older adults for sale, all of this to satisfy a pet market. In the middle of the reproductive season, the plundering of nests is already beginning to be noticed, people who knock them down, take out the chicks and sell them from when they are very small to then offer them on social networks. Even before the breeding season, orders are beginning to be placed.
The authorities can't do anything about it. Perhaps the lack of resources is a factor that prevents them from doing their job. When someone makes a report and they can't come. In Yucatán, one can speak of a network of trafficking of wild birds, since constant reports and citizen complaints reach public attention so that one can perceive a practice of looting, sale, and delivery "that is not for first-timers".
Although a parrot in its natural habitat can live up to 40 years, in captivity this species has a much lower life expectancy, because those who have them as pets, do not provide them with the welfare conditions that a wild animal requires. Many factors cause these parrots to decline, become stressed, fall ill due to the same conditions, and die. In the course of extraction, vulnerability is high, so that, out of 10 parrots, eight die along the way.