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Oficina de Servicios Ecológicos del Caribe -- Southeast Region
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Puerto Rican Parrot Recovery Ecological Services Sub-Office


Puerto Rican parrot in flight

Photo by: Jesús Ríos, USFWS

The Puerto Rican Parrot Recovery Program is an effort to conserve, protect and manage wild and captive parrots in order to downlist the species from endangered to threatened.

The Iguaca, as the Taino Indians named it, is endemic to the island.  In the wild, there are two groups of Puerto Rican Parrots. The oldest group is in El Yunque National Forest. The second group of parrots is in the Río Abajo State Forest.

USFWS Puerto Rican Parrot Recovery Program

Fact Sheets



Press Release August 9, 2011

Press Release November 21, 2013


Station’s Mission

  • Coordinate interagency recovery efforts through partnerships and using the best available science.
  • Implement recovery activities, coordinate management and research for the endangered Puerto Rican Parrot (Amazona vittata), the only native parrot in U.S. territory.
  • Release captive-reared parrots into El Yunque National Forest and Río Abajo Commonwealth Forest, managed by the US Forest Service (USFS) and the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER), respectively.
  • Manage the Iguaca Aviary and provide state-of-the-art veterinary care to captive reared and wild parrots.
  • Promote conservation of habitat for the Puerto Rican Parrot and other endangered, native, and migratory bird species.
  • Promote international technology interchange and assist other nations manage vulnerable bird species.
  • Promote awareness and education for the plight of the Puerto Rican Parrot.

Adaptive Management and Data Integration

  • We work with DNER, USFS, and North Carolina State University, using adaptive management and structured decision making to evaluate sites to reintroduce a third population of Puerto Rican parrot.
  • Refine management practices in collaboration with the US Geological Survey, Mississippi State University, Lincoln Park Zoo, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and the University of Puerto Rico.

Activity Highlights 2010

  • Conducted two population surveys that show the population in El Yunque is low but remains stable, and the new wild population in Río Abajo is stable and slowly increasing.
  • Gathered field data to assess suitable habitat for a third population of Puerto Rican Parrots.  Also, designed and coordinated research projects to develop and refine techniques for the reintroduction of captive-raised parrots into the wild.
  • Continue to restore nest cavities and field infrastructure in El Yunque  National Forest.  We exchange technology and technical assistance with DNER to conduct similar activities at the Río Abajo Forest.
  • Continue to implement innovative solutions to deal with predators, competitors and diseases.
  • Optimize captive population reproduction by manipulating wild nests and facilitating surrogate parents of active wild nests, among other techniques.
  • Provided technical assistance to biologists and technicians in Chile and the Dominican Republic to aid vulnerable bird species in those countries.


Sunday Species Snapshot Blog writes article about the Puerto Rican Parrot

Photo by Tom MacKenzie, USFWS via Flickr


April 9, 2014

The only native parrot species still living in the U.S., these birds nearly went extinct in the second half of the twentieth century.

By 1975…



*Press Release - Puerto Rican parrot third wild population Draft Environmental Assessment*

November 21, 2013

Learn more>>


Marisel López
Project Leader
Puerto Rican Parrot Recovery Program ES Sub-Office
38 Calle García de la Noceda
P.O. Box 1600 
Río Grande, P.R. 00745 
Phone: 787-887-8769
Fax: 787-887-7512



Last updated: May 21, 2014