Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Psittaciformes Psittacidae

Scientific Name: Touit costaricensis
Species Authority: (Cory, 1913)
Common Name(s):
English Red-fronted Parrotlet
Spanish Cotorrita Costarricense
Taxonomic Source(s): del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International.
Identification information: 17.5 cm. Bright green parrot with bright red forehead to mid-crown, lores and area below eye. Bronze tinge to nape. Yellowish throat. Red leading edge of wing and wing-coverts. Dusky flight feathers edged green. Paler green below. Green, square tail edged yellow on outer rectrices and narrow black apical band. Red restricted in female. Voice Harsh and high-pitched tuiiit calls.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable 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): Angehr, G., Biamonte, E., Criado, J., Garrigues, R., Sandoval, L., Stiles, F., Sánchez, C., Sánchez, J. & Zook, J.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Capper, D., Sharpe, C J, Stuart, T., Taylor, J.
This species is listed as Vulnerable because clearance and fragmentation of forest at middle elevations, mainly in the Central Mountains and Tilarán Mountains of Costa Rica, are likely to be causing significant declines in its small range and (presumably) population.

Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Vulnerable (VU)
2004 Vulnerable (VU)
2000 Vulnerable (VU)
1994 Lower Risk/near threatened (LR/nt)
1988 Near Threatened (NT)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Touit costaricensis occurs on the Caribbean slope and locally on upper Pacific slopes of Costa Rica and west Panama (Ridgely and Gwynne 1989, Stiles and Skutch 1989). It is known from middle to high elevations in the Tilarán, Central Volcanic and Talamanca Mountain ranges in Costa Rica and south to Santa Clara, above Boquete, Cocoplum, Isla Popa and from both slopes in the Fortuna area, Panama (Ridgely and Gwynne 1989, Stiles and Skutch 1989, G. R. Angehr in litt. 1998). There are few records from south-eastern lowlands in Costa Rica or Panama, but it occurs continuously along the Cordillera de Talamanca (mainly on the Caribbean slope) (Stiles and Skutch 1989). In Panama, there is an outlying sight record from El Copé, Coclé, in 1986 (Ridgely and Gwynne 1989). It is evidently uncommon and local, but perhaps somewhat overlooked, especially in the poorly known south of its range (Ridgely and Gwynne 1989, Stiles and Skutch 1989). The breeding population in the Important Bird Areas of Costa Rica is estimated at 1,000-4,000 mature individuals (J. Criado in litt. 2007, J. Sanchez et al. in litt. 2007).

Countries occurrence:
Costa Rica; Panama
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 10000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Yes
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Number of Locations: 11-100
Continuing decline in number of locations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Lower elevation limit (metres): 500
Upper elevation limit (metres): 3000
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The breeding population in the Important Bird Areas of Costa Rica is estimated at 1,000-4,000 mature individuals (J. Craido et al. in litt. 2007, J. Sanchez et al. in litt. 2007), thus the total population is expected to fall within the range 2,500-9,999 mature individuals. This equates to 3,750-14,999 individuals in total, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.

Trend Justification:  The species's population is suspected to be declining at a moderate rate, in line with the continued clearance of its forest habitat in the northern part of its range.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 2500-9999 Continuing decline of mature individuals: Yes
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: Yes
No. of subpopulations: 2-100 Continuing decline in subpopulations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations: No All individuals in one subpopulation: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It probably breeds in the dry season in very wet montane forest at elevations of 700-1500 m (J. Sanchez et al. in litt. 2007). The species is a daily altitudinal migrant (J. Criado in litt. 2007). Outside the breeding season it is also recorded in highlands up to 3,000 m (Stiles and Skutch 1989). It may occasionally occur in lowland humid forest at 200-500 m and rarely to sea-level especially in south-eastern Costa Rica (Stiles and Skutch 1989). It is occasionally found in patchy secondary growth, and feeds on fruits from trees and epiphytes, including melastomes, ericads such as Cavendishia, and Clusia (Stiles and Skutch 1989).

Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes
Generation Length (years): 5
Movement patterns: Altitudinal Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The level of habitat fragmentation in the species's range is judged to be moderate (J. Criado in litt. 2007). The widespread destruction of its foothill and highland forests is primarily the result of burning, small-scale logging operations and other conversion for intensive agricultural use (Dinerstein et al. 1995, G. R. Angehr in litt. 2007, J. Sanchez et al. in litt. 2007). In Panama, deforestation is also taking place for urban and tourism development in highlands (G. R. Angehr in litt. 2007). Virtually all remaining highland forest in Costa Rica is confined to existing protected areas (Stiles and Skutch 1989). This species does not depend on lowland forests (J. Criado in litt. 2007), but widespread forest clearance in south-eastern Costa Rica is likely to be affecting this species in the wet season (F. G. Stiles in litt. 1999). There are no reports of captive birds and it is apparently not traded (Collar 1997a).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. It occurs in several protected areas, notably Braulio Carrillo, Tapantí-Cerro de la Muerte National Parks and Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve, Costa Rica, and La Amistad International Park and adjacent reserves in both countries. However, legal protection of Palo Seco Protection Forest (a large reserve in Panama adjacent to La Amistad) has not prevented clearance for agriculture (Angehr and Jordán 1998).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Evaluate the importance of habitats outside breeding season (J. Criado in litt. 2007, J. Sanchez et al. in litt. 2007). Conduct surveys to determine its total population size. Study the species's ecology (J. Sanchez et al. in litt. 2007). Monitor population trends through regular surveys. Monitor rates of forest loss and recovery (J. Sanchez et al. in litt. 2007). Effectively protect Palo Seco Protection Forest.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Touit costaricensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22686017A39016865. . Downloaded on 04 October 2015.
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