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BIRD OF THE WEEK
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Amazona imperialis
POPULATION: 250-350 individuals
IUCN STATUS: Endangered
HABITAT: Mountain forests on the island of Dominica
High in the remote mountain forests on the small Caribbean island of Dominica hides a national treasure: the Imperial Amazon, known to local people as the Sisserou. This striking purple-and-green parrot is Dominica’s national bird, found on its flag and coat of arms. It’s also the largest parrot in its genus, Amazona, with a wingspan of about 30 inches, and a bird that can reach very old age — up to 70 years in captivity — in the company of its lifelong mate.
As rare as it is beautiful, the Imperial Amazon is recognized as an Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) species based on its small population and limited range. Like other AZE species, including Lear’s Macaw, Araripe Manakin, and Glittering Starfrontlet, this parrot can be found in only one place on Earth.