Puerto Rican parrot - USFW photoThe outlook is increasingly positive for the Puerto Rican parrot, which has hovered near extinction for decades, with slightly more than a dozen left in the wild at one point.

‘Everything is moving in a positive direction,’ said Tom White, a Fish and Wildlife biologist who helps manage the island’s wild parrot populations.

The species is the only remaining native parrot in Puerto Rico and has been listed as critically endangered by the World Conservation Union since 1994. Once widespread and abundant, the population declined drastically in the 19th and early 20th centuries with the removal of most of its native habitat; the species completely vanished from Vieques and Mona Island, nearby to the main island of Puerto Rico.

Conservation efforts commenced in 1968 to save the bird from extinction. In 2006, the total estimated population was 34 to 40 individuals in the wild and 143 individuals in captivity.

(READ the AP story in Forbes.com)

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