Golden Conure ( Guaruba guarouba)


The Golden Conure (Guaruba guarouba), also known as the Golden Parakeet and as the Ararajuba in Brazil, is a striking psittacine that is unique in having bright yellow with green primary wing feathers. It is endemic to the Northern Amazonian region of Brazil. The habitat in which it occurs, occupies an areas of terra firma in a submontane open forest. Although often listed as a conure because of its common name, it is listed in a separate genus, Guaruba. Helmut Sick, one of Brazil's foremost ornithologists of the 20th century believed that this species should be named the Brazilian national bird as green and yellow are the primary colors of the Brazilian flag.

The Brazilian Ornithological Society, at its 200 l meeting, voted this species as the official symbol of the society. The journal of the Society is called the Ararajuba, the common name for the Golden Conure in Brazil.

Historically, the species has been known since the end of the 17th century. From the historical record, all of the European explorers of the 18th and 19th centuries that passed through the area always make mention of the species in manuscripts or iconographies of the time. When the Swiss explorer Martius Spix traveled through the Amazon region (after having gone through the Juazeiro area in Northeastern Brazil and collecting a specimen of what later became known as the Spix's Macaw) he then traveled to the Amazonian region where he noted that the Golden Conure was extremely prized and that its price was the same as that of a black slave. The live conure is still used as currency among many of the indigenous tribes of the Amazon. Also, the tail feathers are prized by the Indians for head dresses as they are totally yellow. This is a species that has always been valued not only by the tribes, but also by collectors and aviculturists, both in Brazil and internationally.

The area that has the major density of the species is located between Maranhao and Para. This is the region that has had the greatest environmental problems as the impact of a high rate of deforestation, colonization, and cattle ranching have destroyed much of the forest. In addition, governmental projects of the 1970s that tried to provide incentives for the utilization and development of the area have all contributed to the loss of habitat and range of the Golden Conure. New selective logging practices that have been implemented to cut back on the impact of deforestation, actually have had a greater impact on the species. The 

one knows where there are reservoirs of water, it is easy to find the Golden Conures.

Feeding groups can be composed of up to 30 individuals, but it should not be surmised that they are of the same group. These are different groups that are utilizing the food resource and within the spatial area that they use one can still recognize the individual groups and there is aggression between the bands.