National Bird – Commonwealth of Dominica

DominicaThe Commonwealth of Dominica is an eastern Caribbean island nation located between the French islands of Guadeloupe (to the north) and Martinique (to the south). It has a population around 70,000 and is 289.5 square miles. This island is home to the endemic Imperial Parrot (Amazonia imperialis), also called Sisserous Amazon and is the largest of the Amazona parrots. It is also one of the rarest, critically endangered.

In addition to being Dominica’s national bird, it is on the coat of arms and on national postage stamps. The country has protective legislation and educational programs for the Sisserous Parrot and a national park was established in 2000 called Morne Diablotin National Park to protect its main habitat.

The Imperial Amazon occurs only on the Caribbean island of Dominica, and is the island’s national bird. It is confined to about 22,000 acres of mountainous rainforest adjacent to the Morne Diablotin and Morne Trois Pitons National Parks. Since hurricane David hit the island in 1980, Imperials have been restricted to the slopes of northern Morne Diablotin. Over the past twenty years, a southern population within Morne Trois Pitons National Park has become re-established. — Rare Species Conservatory Foundation

Hopefully, Dominica’s national bird will continue to rebuild in population. The Imperial Amazon is a beautiful bird worthy of a national symbol.

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