Golden Conure

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image: goldenconure.jpg

Common Name: Golden Conure or Parakeet

Scientific Name: Guaruba guarouba

Size: 14 inches (36 cm)

Habitat: South America. Found in the Maranhao and Para regions of Brazil, where they are nomadic. Prefers upland areas of dry rainforest that protect them from floods. In addition, they avoid deforested areas except while breeding when they wander in the open to nest in trees. Deforestation and floods are a threat to the Golden Conures existence.

Status: Endangered. Global Population: 1,000-2,499 Mature individuals. Habitat destruction and fragmentation as a result of road construction, subsequent development and settlement, with accompanying illegal logging, is a threat in the east of its range. Mahogany exploitation is particularly concerning in the Tocantins-XingĂș area. Selective logging of primary hardwoods removes suitable roosting and nesting cavities. It is trapped for trade (usually while roosting) and highly desired in both international and national trade. It is hunted for food, feathers, sport and to curtail crop damage

Diet: Fruits, flower, buds, and cultured maize

Breeding: Golden Conures breed from November through February. Sexual maturity is at the age of three years. The nest is usually in a high tree and it is aggressively defended. They can produce three to five eggs per year. The eggs are 37.1 x 29.9 mm. Communal breeding has been observed possibly including young from the previous year. Males guard the nest during the 30-day incubation period and all adults take turns caring for the young after they hatch. At birth, the Conure is covered with white down. The second week, the down is darker and by the third week flight feathers are developing. The survival rate of the young depends on the dominance status of each nest mate. Juveniles behave playfully but later may turn abusive towards nest mates. In captivity, the parents will reproduce again as soon as their young are taken away from the nest.

Cool Facts: Conures are sociable. They are family oriented birds that will care for unrelated young. These birds are inquisitive and playful in captivity but may pluck and eat feathers from each other. This behavior could be due to a lack of minerals or protein in the diet or extreme boredom. In captivity, the parents are susceptible to abandoning their young after three weeks.

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