Aratinga auricapillus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Psittaciformes Psittacidae

Scientific Name: Aratinga auricapillus (Kuhl, 1820)
Common Name(s):
English Golden-capped Parakeet, Golden-capped Conure
Spanish Aratinga Testadorada
Aratinga auricapilla auricapilla Collar and Andrew (1988)
Aratinga auricapilla auricapilla Stotz et al. (1996)
Aratinga auricapilla auricapilla Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993)
Aratinga auricapilla auricapilla BirdLife International (2000)
Aratinga auricapilla auricapilla Collar et al. (1994)
Taxonomic Source(s): SACC. 2005 and updates. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #
Identification information: 30 cm. Green parakeet with orange-red belly and facial markings. Red frontlet, lores and area around eyes grading to bright orange in forecrown and bright yellow in mid-crown. Large, dull orange-red belly patch, mottled yellow. Reddish underwing-coverts. Bluish primaries with green patch. Dull bluish tail with green in base and red on central rectrices. Feathers of lower back and rump edged reddish. Blackish bill. Race aurifrons is deeper green with more extensive red on head, reduced patch on belly and no red on mantle. Voice Very strong kee-keet.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Lombardi, V., Olmos, F., Silveira, L.F. & Yamashita, C.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Capper, D., Sharpe, C.J., Symes, A., Taylor, J.
This species is thought to have a moderately small population which is suspected to be declining in some areas owing primarily to habitat loss. However, it seems to cope relatively well with the alteration of its habitat. It is consequently classified as Near Threatened.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Aratinga auricapillus occurs from the Recôncavo area in Bahia, south to Minas Gerais, Espirito Santo, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Goiás and Paraná, south-east Brazil. In São Paulo and Paraná, the species has only been recorded in the humid eastern forests. It has apparently vanished from Espirito Santo, and has been recently recorded from single sites in Rio de Janeiro and Paraná. Despite the loss of habitat and collecting for the pet trade, it is still locally common in Goiás, (where it occurs over most of its former distribution), Minas Gerais and Bahia. It is described as very common along the rio Grande basin (V. T. Lombardi in litt. 2011). A recent survey in Bahia found it in 18 out of 30 sites surveyed, including eight protected areas, being recorded in large groups and using secondary vegetation (Cordeiro 2002). The discovery that it is still widespread and has not declined over much of its northern range (Bahia, Minas Gerais, Goiás), and its ability to cope with habitat fragmentation suggest its status is more secure than formerly thought.

Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:1030000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):YesExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Number of Locations:11-100Continuing decline in number of locations:Yes
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Upper elevation limit (metres):1400
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species's population size has not been formally estimated and in the absence of sufficient data it is preliminarily estimated to number more than 10,000 individuals, roughly equivalent to 6,700 mature individuals; however, detailed research is required.

Trend Justification:  The species's population is suspected to be in decline owing to continued habitat loss and some trapping for the pet trade.

Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:6700Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
No. of subpopulations:2-100Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It is found in both humid Atlantic coastal forest and inland transitional forests. It is largely dependent on semi-deciduous forest, but forages and breeds in forest edge, adjacent secondary growth, agricultural areas and even urban areas (V. T. Lombardi in litt. 2011). Like other Aratinga, it seems to adapt well to mosaics of forest fragments, pastures and agriculture, and in Goiás and Minas Gerais it also uses areas of cerrado (F. Olmos in litt. 2003). Pairs have been seen in November and dependent young in March (L. F. Silveira in litt. 1999), indicating breeding in the austral summer. It feeds on fruits (such as mango, papaya and orange) (L. F. Silveira in litt. 1999) and seeds (such as maize), and was formerly considered a serious pest.

Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):7
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There has been extensive and continuing clearance and fragmentation of suitable habitat for coffee, soybean and sugarcane plantations in São Paulo, and cattle-ranching in Goiás and Minas Gerais (Snyder et al. 2000). Trapping for trade has probably had a significant impact since it was relatively common in illegal Brazilian markets in the mid-1980s and imported in hundreds into West Germany in the early 1980s. However, the precise effect is obfuscated by high numbers of captive-bred birds, which presumably reduce pressure on remaining wild populations (L. F. Silveira in litt. 1999). Despite its tendency to occasionally nest near human habitation, it is apparently not the most favoured species for the pet trade (V. T. Lombardi in litt. 2011). There are no records of persecution in response to crop degradation.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. It occurs in Monte Pascoal, Chapada da Diamantina, Serra da Canastra (common in the south) (Silveira 1998) and Serra do Caparaó National Parks, Rio Doce State Park and Caratinga Reserve.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey to locate any major new populations and define the limits of its current range. Study to determine its population dynamics and dispersive capacity, and provide a detailed analysis of its habitat requirements at different sites. Ensure the protection of key reserves. Protect the species under Brazilian law.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Aratinga auricapillus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22685710A93084117. . Downloaded on 23 May 2018.
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