The Amazona genus includes twelve species of parrots that occur in Brazil, four are considered vulnerable or threatened of extinction, including the Vinaceous breasted Amazon. Habitat loss, due to deforestation, and the removal of specimens from the wild to fuel the trafficking of wild animals were the factors that contributed the most to put this species at risk.

 

The Vinaceous breasted Amazon is endemic to the Atlantic Forest, that is, only occurs in this biome. In Brazil, it is found from southern Bahia to Rio Grande do Sul, but also lives in southeastern Paraguay and Misiones in Argentina. It is usually associated with the Araucaria Forest.

 

It is not for nothing that it is called Vinaceous breasted Amazon. With about 35 cm in total length and is identified by the pattern of purplish scaly breast feathers. The feathers of the head, mantle and tail are green in the neck and nape there is a blue "collar". It is red color at the ends of the wings, nozzle base, forehead, shoulder and against wing mirror. There is no sexual dimorphism. Life expectation for this specie is up to 30 years.

 

The breeding season starts in August and goes until January. Nests are built in tree hollows and eggs are incubated for about 25 days. Normally the oviposition is two to four eggs hatched mainly by the female that during this period is fed by the male. The chicks leave the nest usually after two months and only leave their parents when a new breeding season starts, after six or eight months. 

The specie has a well-varied diet, feeding on seeds, fruits, flowers and leaves.

 

The Araucarias National Park is conservation unit established in 2005 and as such aims to preserve remaining Ombrophilous Mist forests and all the existing biodiversity associated with it, helping to keep the quality of important water bodies, such as  Chapecó River, Chapecozinho, Mato and Caratuva.

 

The park is located in the municipalities of Passos Maia and Ponte Serrada, Santa Catarina, Brazil, with an area of 12,841 hectares. Its name refers to the Araucária forest, and the predominant species, Araucaria (Brazilian pine or Candelabra tree- Araucária angustifolia) is on the list of flora threatened with extinction. Other endangered plants are also present in the park, as the tree fern and Brazilian walnut.

 

Several animal species can be found in the park, including innumerous endangered species or found only in small populations such as:  howler monkey (Alouatta guariba clamitans), oncilla (Leopardus tigrinus), puma (Puma concolor) deer-poca (Mazama nana), ocelot (Leopardus pardalis).

 

Around the park there are rural communities that develop mostly familiar agricultural activities. There are monoculture of exotic tree species such as pine and eucalyptus, both put in place by small producers and major industries. Neighboring the Park Rivers has been dammed for hydroelectric energy production.

 

The Araucárias National Park is still in early stage of expropriation of the inside areas, even so, the opening for public visit is predicted to the end of the year, although there is environmental education and scientific research.

 

The park also has an advisory board made up of public institutions and local civil society (municipalities, environmental agencies, associations, NGOs, among others), which collaborates in the management of the unit.

 

Important scientific research has been undertaken in this National Park. One is the reintroduction of the Vinaceous-breasted amazon (Amazona vinacea). It is a species that occurred in the region, but was extinguished within the park and which now has an opportunity to populate this protected forest again. Other important researchs are those involving several invasive alien species such as bullfrogs (Catesbeianus lithobates) and wild boar (Sus scrofa). These species, which are not native to the area, as well as pine and eucalyptus, cause serious environmental and economic problems and should be removed from the park area to avoid negative interference in the native biota.

 

The main access routes for those traveling, starting from the state capital or coming from the coast are the BR-282 and BR-470. The BR-153 is also an important access from the other regions. The Chapeco airport is the closest of the Araucarias National Park, far about 100 km.

 

To learn more about Araucarias National Park , SC, and have access to Management Plan, interactive maps and other information, click here.

 
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