Conservation Spotlight

Cuban Amazon Parrot ( Amazona leucocephala):
Private Sector Participation in AZA Breeding Programs

Rachél Watkins Rogers
Cuban Amazon N. American Regional Studbook, Parrot Jungle and Gardens, 11000 SW 57th Ave, Miami, FL 33156;

The American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) has developed various breeding programs to responsibly manage captive populations of selected species. The zoological
community utilizes computer software distributed by an organization called International
Species Information System (ISIS), based in Minnesota Zoological Gardens. One of the essential elements of an AZA breeding program is accurate studbook data of the species
in the Single Population Animal Records Keeping System (SPARKS) format. All recognized studbook keepers utilize SPARKS and an annual class is taught at the
AZA Schools for Zoo and Aquarium Professionals. The AZA Parrot Taxon Advisory
Group (TAG) is developing a Regional Collection Plan to develop standards for nomenclature, records keeping, and program philosophies. This will enable zoo facilities to collaborate with private sector breeders. The development of long-range plans
that include the private sector is being viewed as a way to utilize their expertise and add resources to propagation programs. The current managed population of Cuban Amazons (A. l. leucocephala), began as a group of U. S. Department of Interior (DOI)-seized
birds in Miami, FL, on 4 April 1988. The founder birds were turned over to the Miami Metrozoo on 27 May 1988. With the agreement in place between the AZA and
the DOI / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, birds were shipped in the summer of 1991 to the selected Participants of the Cuban Amazon Consortium for breeding. The
Consortium has been developed into a Population Management Plan (PMP), which means that the studbook data are used to manage the population. This step has formalized the efforts of this program to a higher level of species management.