Also called the "Yellow-headed Amazon" this Mexican parrot has long been a popular pet, prized for its "talking" and "singing". This led to trappers stealing young birds from nests wherever they could find them. In two decades, the population fell from 700,000, in the mid-1970s, to only 7,000! This decline continues, worsened by habitat destruction. However, this species breeds well in captivity, with many hatched each year. The breeding pair at the DWA have so far reared two broods of chicks in full public view.
Called Arapaima in the Guianas, Paiche in Peru, and Pirarucu in Brazil, this relative of the arowana is one of the largest purely freshwater fishes in the world, reaching nine feet and exceeding 400 pounds. They have been overexploited as food fishes, so are vulnerable to extinction. These fast-growing predators surface frequently to take air at the surface. While aquarium visitors may mistake them for Alligator gars, they are not related. Their closest North American relatives are the herring-like Mooneyes and Goldeneyes.
The males and females of all swallowtail angels differ in color, but in this case, the difference is so extreme that the male was given the species' scientific name in 1934, while the female was described as "Holacanthus fuscosus" in 1970. Only aquarium observations confirmed they were the same species. In Japan, this species is found only in Okinawa and "The Seven Islands of Izu" (of which there are actually around a dozen). It is also found off Taiwan and the Philippines.