Amazona vittata ssp. gracilipes Ridgeway

Culebra Amazon (Amazona vittata ssp. gracilipes)

The Culebra Amazon is an extinct subspecies of the Puerto Rican Amazon (Amazona vittata (Boddaert)) (see photo below) that was formerly found on the smaller island of Culebra offshore the east coast of Puerto Rico in the middle of the Greater Antilles.

This form was described in 1915 and differed from the nominate apparently by its smaller size and its smaller and more slender feet (?). It is known from only three specimens, a female and two males, which were collected in 1899.:

Formerly parrots were common on Culebra Island but now they are supposed to be extinct. Their destruction is due to the fact that they were considered a table delicacy and were hunted continually. When common they were said to do considerable injury in the plantations of bananas and plantains. Two specimens in the National Museum were collected by a. B. Baker on February 11 and 12, 1899. Another bears merely the date 1899.” [1]

The Culebra Amazon was never recorded again after the collection of the three specimens and is now extinct, the nominate race is likewise very rare and almost extinct in the wild. 



[1] Alexander Wetmore: The birds of Culebra Island, Porto Rico. The Auk 34: 51-62. 1917


Puerto Rican Amazon (Amazona vittata)

Photo: Tom MacKenzie

(under creative commons license (2.0))


edited: 12.02.2020