ⓘ Neotropical parrot


ⓘ Neotropical parrot

The neotropical parrots or New World parrots comprise about 150 species in 32 genera found throughout South and Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean islands, and two species formerly inhabited North America. They are also present on a few Pacific islands such as the Galapagos. Among them are some of the most familiar and iconic parrots, including the blue and gold macaw, sun conure, and yellow-headed amazon.

Parrots from the New world was known to Europeans since Columbus remarked upon them in his diary in 1492. A systematic description of the birds was first available in German naturalist Georg Marcgrafs email Brasiliae, published in 1648, and the English naturalist mark Catesbys two-volume Natural history of Carolina, Florida and the Bahamas, published in London in 1731 and 1743.

Several species and one genus have become extinct in recent centuries. The second kind are extinct in the wild. More than a third of existing species are classified as endangered. Several of them are in immediate danger of extinction, with fewer than 500 individuals in the wild or in captivity: grey-blue macaw, Spixs macaw, blue throat macaw, Puerto Rican parrot, Indigo-winged parrot. The main reasons for the decline in populations of parrots are habitat loss through deforestation, logging, burning, and flooding by construction of dams, capture for the pet trade and the introduction of non-native predators.

New world parrots are monophyletic, and were geographically isolated, at least 30-55 million years using the methods of molecular Dating. Though fairly few fossils of modern parrots are known, most of them of the tribe Arini of MACAWS and parrots, the oldest of the 16 million years ago. They attest that modern genera were mostly different in the Pleistocene, several million years ago.

The Neotropical parrots is at least two monophyletic clades, one of primarily long-tailed species such as the macaw, parrot, and the allies, and primarily short-tailed parrots, such as Amazons and allies.

A new species, the bald parrot or orange-headed parrot was discovered in 2002.