Press Release
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Protects Jamaican Parrot under the ESA

March 11, 2013

Contacts:
Vanessa Kauffman
Vanessa_Kauffman@fws.gov
(703) 358-2138


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced today the yellow-billed parrot is now protected as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), following publication of a final listing determination in the *Federal Register*.

After careful review of the best available information regarding the past, present and future threats faced by this species, comments submitted by peer reviewers and the general public, and any new information received during the public comment period following publication of the proposed rule to list this species, the Service found that the yellow-billed parrot is a threatened species throughout its range due primarily to habitat loss and poaching for the local pet trade in Jamaica.

The yellow-billed parrot is one of only two endemic parrot species found on the island of Jamaica and is listed under the Second Schedule of Jamaica’s Endangered Species (Protection, Conservation and Regulation of Trade) Act. It is a green parrot with white facial markings, a blue crown, pink throat and upper breast, bluish primary wing feathers, and a yellow bill. It occurs in mid-level wet limestone and lower montane, mature forests. The impact of ongoing deforestation and fragmentation, including loss of suitable nesting trees, has led to a decline in the yellow-billed parrot’s range and population.

The final rule will publish in the *Federal Register* on March 12, 2013, and become effective in 30 days on April 11, 2013. The *Federal Register*publication of the rule is available online at http://www.fws.gov/policy/frsystem/default.cfm by clicking on the 2013 Final Rules.

The yellow-billed parrot is also being added to a special rule that first published in 2011 for the salmon-crested cockatoo. The special rule allows import into and export from the United States of certain captive salmon-crested cockatoos and yellow-billed parrots without a permit issued under the ESA, provided the provisions of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the Wild Bird Conservation Act (WBCA) are met. The special rule also allows for certain acts in interstate commerce of these parrot species without a permit under the ESA.

Addition of a foreign species to the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife places restrictions on the importation of either the animal or its parts. Listing can also generate conservation benefits, such as increasing awareness of the species, prompting research efforts to address their conservation needs, or funding conservation in range countries.

The Endangered Species Act provides a critical safety net for fish, wildlife and plants and to date has prevented the extinction of hundreds of imperiled species, as well as promoting the recovery of many others. The Service is actively engaged with conservation partners and the public in the search for improved and innovative ways to conserve and recover imperiled species. To learn more about the Endangered Species program’s Branch of Foreign Species, visit: http://www.fws.gov/endangered/what-we-do/international-activities.html.


The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

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