For 1996–2003, we determined reproductive output and success of 70 Lilaccrowned Parrot (Amazona finschi) nests in tropical dry forest of the Chamela-Cuixmala Biosphere Reserve in western Mexico. Only 42% of nests had young that fledged; predation was the main cause of nest failure. Low brood survival in 2000 and 2003 caused significant between-year variation in the probability of nest success during the nestling phase of the nest cycle. Reproductive output of Lilac-crowned Parrots was low, with females producing an average of 0.99 fledglings on an initial investment of 2.6 eggs. The fecundity component of clutch size varied significantly between years, because of the high median clutch size recorded in 2000. Nestling survival also varied significantly between years, creating large interannual fluctuations in reproductive output. The most productive breeding season was 1999, with an average output of 1.7 fledglings on an investment of 2.7 eggs; whereas the poorest breeding season was 2000, with an output of 0.57 fledglings from 3.3 eggs. Loss of reproductive potential was greatest in 2000 and 2003, because of brood reduction through starvation of later-hatched nestlings, with hatching order influencing the probability of nestling survival. Mean number of nestlings per egg-laying female was associated with interannual fluctuations in precipitation resulting from the El Niño-La Niña weather cycle in the Pacific Ocean. Both nest predation and food availability may limit parrot reproduction in tropical dry forests, with populations of threatened species in dry habitats being vulnerable to effects of climatic variability and habitat fragmentation.
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Vol. 121 • No. 4