Analyses are currently underway following a two-month survey that ended in March, of the Saint Lucia Amazon parrot (Amazona versicolor) across the whole of St. Lucia’s mountainous rainforests.
A team of over 30 people made up Saint Lucians, other Caribbean and overseas nationals were organised by a joint team from the Forestry Department of Saint Lucia’s Ministry of Agriculture and the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust (Durrell). Following two weeks of intensive training in parrot survey techniques, first aid, emergency response, GPS and map reading, volunteers were split into teams of 3 or 4 and taken to pre-defined points in the forest where for five days they camped and used the technique of distance sampling – evaluated for its efficacy in surveying this species in pilot studies over the previous two years – to produce a robust estimate of parrot numbers.
This survey follows 30 years of successful work by the Saint Lucia Forestry Department and Durrell to recover the Saint Lucia parrot population. The programme has been hailed internationally as a rare example of the reversal of an endangered species’ decline from extinction.
This year’s survey aims to provide scientific proof that the fortunes of the Saint Lucia Amazon are still improving and in addition, to provide a baseline for future management of the parrot and its habitat.
Results of the survey will be available later this year.