|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|The endangered Maroon-fronted Parrot.|
Range & population: it is restricted to c. 18,000 km2 of the Sierra Madre Oriental in Nuevo León, Coahuila and Tamaulipas, Mexico, where there is presently no more than 5,000 km2 of suitable habitat.
Ecology: It inhabits mature pine, pine-oak and mixed conifer forest at 2,000-3,500 m, and exceptionally 1,300-3,700 m. It nests colonially in solution holes in limestone cliffs. Breeding follows the fruiting pattern of pines, with pairs arriving between April and May, laying in early July and fledging in October-November. Pairs produce an average of two chicks (range 1-4), and the whole population produces up to 150 young per year. It feeds almost exclusively on pinions, depends on daily access to free-flowing water and groups congregate at clay licks to eat earth. In addition to pinions, it also eats agave flowers, fruits and acorns. Seasonal migrations or relatively predictable nomadic movements occur between the northern and southern range limits. Following the post-breeding migration to the southern part of its range, it forms large aggregations.
Threats: Intensive grazing and agricultural conversion have destroyed and degraded forest. Annual fires burn large areas (in 1998, 20 km2 of foraging habitat were lost, and 20 km2 of pine forest, including 90% of El Taray Sanctuary, were lost to two wildfires in 2005-2006), which regenerate as dense (and unsuitable) 'chaparral' vegetation. Droughts fuel fires and dry up natural water sources. Additionally, the species is affected by low pinion production, and pressure from local people who collect pinions as an alternative income source. Forest is also cleared for timber extraction. The species is affected by some trapping and shooting and may experience years of low breeding success or even zero recruitment.
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