Pyrrhura viridicata


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Pyrrhura viridicata
Species Authority: Todd, 1913
Common Name(s):
English Santa Marta Parakeet, Santa Marta Conure
Spanish Cotorra de Santa Marta, Periquito de Santa Marta
Taxonomic Notes:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(i,ii,iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Arndt, T., Boesman, P., Olarte, L., Salaman, P. & Olaciregui , C.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Capper, D., Isherwood, I., Sharpe, C J, Stuart, T., Symes, A., Khwaja, N.
This species's range and population are probably declining as a result of habitat loss. It therefore qualifies as Endangered.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Pyrrhura viridicata occurs only in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia. Flocks of 5-30 birds are observed daily or every few days (Salaman and Giles 1995, P. Boesman in litt. 1998, Snyder et al. 2000) on the relatively well-watched San Lorenzo Ridge. It is also known from Taquina, where specimens were collected in 1914 and the species was recorded commonly in 2010 (C. Olaciregui in litt. 2012), and a population on the west flank of the río Frío which was located in 2001. The area of land on the north slope of the massif within its altitudinal range is less than 600 km2, within which as little as 200 km2 of primary forest may remain (T. Arndt in litt. 1993). Until recently it was judged to be fairly common (Ridgely 1981, Hilty and Brown 1986), but it has surely become less abundant. The total population is usually estimated to be 5,000-10,000 individuals (Renjifo et al. 2002). Others believe that there are no more than 4,000-4,500 individuals, based on estimates of 120 birds at San Lorenzo and using forest cover estimates from satellite images to calculate remaining suitable habitat (Strewe 2005).

Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population is estimated to number 5,000-10,000 individuals, roughly equating to 3,300-6,700 mature individuals.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Only 15% of the original vegetation in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta remains, albeit largely on the north slope where this species occurs (L. M. Renjifo pers. comm. 1993, 2000). The main current threat is the expansion of non-native tree plantations, such as those of pine and eucalyptus, along with on-going clearance of land for livestock farming (C. Olaciregui in litt. 2012). Historically, conversion of forest to marijuana and coca plantations was also a major threat (L. G. Olarte in litt. 1993, L. M. Renjifo pers. comm. 1993, J. Fjeldså verbally 2000, L. M. Renjifo pers. comm. 2000, C. Olaciregui in litt. 2012), which was compounded by the government spraying herbicides on the sierra (L. G. Olarte in litt. 1993, L. M. Renjifo pers. comm. 1993, 2000). Other threats that followed human immigration to the area from the 1950s onwards include logging and burning (Dinerstein et al. 1995, Snyder et al. 2000, Salazar and Strewe undated, P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999). It is known to be hunted in the río Frío valley, and in San Pedro district individuals in blackberry plantations have been shot. The species has not been found in the local bird trade (Strewe 2005).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is protected by two national designations and is an international biosphere reserve (IUCN 1992), but this has not conserved the massif's ecosystems effectively. All known sites for the species lie within Indian reservations where indigenous people have management rights and it is not possible to control management or hunting (Strewe 2005). In 2006, 1,600 acres of northwest Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta were protected through the American Bird Conservancy, Fundación ProAves and Conservation International and renamed as El Dorado Nature Reserve (Anon. 2006). The reserve currently emcompasses 2,250 acres. Within its boundaries, Fundación ProAves has overseen an on-going pine eradication project since 2006, removing thousands of trees and saplings and planting native trees appropriate to Santa Marta Parakeet's foraging and nesting requirements (C. Olaciregui in litt. 2012). Artificial nestboxes have been used since 2006 (Olaciregui and Borja 2011).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Estimate current population levels and the area of remaining suitable habitat (Snyder et al. 2000). Evaluate the state of all known populations, and localise new populations according to distribution models (C. Olaciregui in litt. 2012). Study its habitat tolerance and population densities in different forest-types (Snyder et al. 2000, Salazar and Strewe undated). Research its ecology, movements and conservation status (Snyder et al. 2000). Work with local communities and regional institutions to identify and prioritise conservation and management strategies (Salazar and Strewe undated). Establish education programmes working with local communities to combat hunting and persecution (Strewe 2005).

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Pyrrhura viridicata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 30 August 2015.
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