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Habitat of cattle pastures with mature trees as found in Los Colorados Ranch. (LPF)


In the 20 years since the last work much has changed. Europe banned importation of wild caught birds in 2007 and Mexico passed a ban on the capture and sale of native birds in 2010. Both actions should have reduced the impact of the pet trade in the region. The region was heavily deforested by the early 1990’s, but the deforestation ban passed in the 1980’s has apparently reduced the rates of forest loss, because the region is no longer considered to be losing forest cover. Remote images of Google Earth show that there has been almost no loss of tree cover in the area from the early 1990s through 2011, suggesting that the habitat has remained relatively unchanged over the past 20 years. The reduction in deforestation and increased legal protection for wild parrots leads to cautious optimism about the fate of the


08 BIRD SCENE


wild parrot populations in Tamaulipas. However, enforcement of environmental laws is still weak and widespread illegal activity remains common. As a result, capture for the pet trade may remain high in rural areas like the coastal plain of Tamaulipas. During his work, Enkerlin-Hoeflich


hypothesized that the three species of Amazona parrots would be able to survive in the highly impacted matrix of pasture with large isolated trees (about 85% of the landscape) and native forest fragments (about 15%) as long as poaching rates remained low. Testing the hypothesis that these Amazon parrots can survive in these highly impacted landscapes for > 20 years is of great importance to the conservation of these species, as it has broad implications for future conservation planning and


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