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Jul 3, 2017

Rare new species discovered in Mexico

Photo - TonySilva

Blue-winged Amazon Parrot
Amazona gomezgarzai
The Guardian newspaper's Ian Sample, Science Editor, reports this week that Miguel Gomez Garza was on his last Yucatan expedition, gathering info for his book Parrots of Mexico, when he heard a group of parrots, but their call was like no other.   He waited and spotted half a dozen parrots with intense red fronts and beautiful blue tips on their wing feathers.   "I could not believe it.   The different noise belonged to a different parrot".   The bird has been named the Blue-winged Amazon Parrot, or Amazonia gomezgarzai, in honour of its discoverer, Miguel Gomez Garza, vet and ornithologist.   Mexican authorities have given Gomez Garza permission to capture a male and female for further study.   Tests on the parrot DNA (performed without harming the parrots) show the new species evolved from the White-fronted Parrots that were native to the region about 120,000 years ago.   A spokesperson has said there are probably only 100 Blue-winged Amazon Parrots in existence, making their conservation a priority.   Gomez Garza has stated that parrots face habitat destruction and while the international illegal trade is less alarming than a few years ago, it continues locally with certain species.   He adds that awareness will be the turning point in saving wild parrots around the world.
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