Touit surdus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Touit surdus
Species Authority: (Kuhl, 1820)
Common Name(s):
English Golden-tailed Parrotlet
Spanish Cotorrita Sorda
Touit surda Collar and Andrew (1988)
Touit surda BirdLife International (2000)
Touit surda Collar et al. (1994)
Touit surda BirdLife International (2004)
Touit surda Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993)
Touit surda Stotz et al. (1996)
Taxonomic Notes: Gender agreement of species name follows David and Gosselin (2002b).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2c+3c+4c;C2a(i) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Symes, A. & Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Barnett, J., Mazar Barnett, J., Oniki, Y., Whittaker, A., Willis, E. & Silveira, L.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Capper, D., Clay, R., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A.
This species is listed as Vulnerable because its population is small and declining rapidly owing to ongoing deforestation. It has been found to be more resilient to forest fragmentation than first thought, and it may be under-recorded rather than genuinely scarce, especially in the southern part of its range.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Touit surdus occurs in north-east Brazil (Ceará, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Alagoas and Sergipe), and in the south-east from Bahia south to Rio de Janeiro (L. F. Silveira in litt. 2012). Recent surveys have found it to be one of the commonest parrot in the Atlantic Forest of Alagoas (which has been reduced to <2% of its former extent), being present in 5 out of 15 sites surveyed (L. F. Silveira et al. in litt.) and also in Murici Ecological Station (J. M. Barnett in litt. 2002). It was also recently found nesting in arboreal termitaria in forest fragments in Pernambuco (Telino et al. 2000). The species was found in 16 out of 31 surveyed areas in southern Bahia, including the private reserves Ecoparque de Una and Estação Veracruz (formerly CVRD Porto Seguro reserve), Una Biological Reserve, and Descobrimento, Pau Brasil and Monte Pascoal National Parks (Cordeiro 2002).

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

Population [top]

Population: The species is generally rare; its population is placed in the band 2,500-9,999 mature individuals, equating to 3,750-14,999 individuals, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It inhabits lowland evergreen forest and adjacent lower montane slopes, mostly below 500 m, but up to 700 m in Alagoas and 1,000 m in Espírito Santo, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo (Juniper and Parr 1998, E. O. Willis and Y. Oniki in litt. 1999). Flocks have been observed moving between distant forest fragments (A. Whittaker in litt. 1999). Reported foods are fruit of Spondias lutea and Rapanea schwackeana. Breeding is unrecorded. At least in Rio de Janeiro, it may undertake seasonal movements. Recent observations suggest that this species is resilient to habitat alteration.

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Extensive deforestation throughout its range is regarded as the principal cause of its rarity, and the north-east population is most threatened because sugarcane plantations have replaced virtually all lowland forest in Alagoas, leaving just 2% of original forest cover (Brown and Brown 1992) in severely fragmented blocks, averaging 1.5 km2 or less (Conservation International et al. 1995). Further south, the situation is little more encouraging: in Bahia, less than 10% of forest is intact, and in the rest of its range suitable habitat has been reduced to less than 20% of its original extent (Conservation International et al. 1995). Lowland forests were historically threatened by agricultural conversion and deforestation for mining and plantations (Fearnside 1996). Current key threats arise from urbanisation, agricultural expansion, colonisation and associated road-building (Dinerstein et al. 1995).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II and protected under Brazilian law. It has been recorded in numerous protected areas: Pedra Talhada Biological Reserve (Alagoas), Monte Pascoal and Serra das Lontras National Parks, Una Biological Reserve and Serra Bonita private reserve (Bahia), Córrego Grande, Sooretama and Augusto Ruschi Biological Reserves (Espírito Santo), Desengano State Park and Itatiaia National Park (Rio de Janeiro).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey historical localities and suitable habitat to clarify distribution. Research ecology and seasonal movements. Designate Murici in Alagoas as a biological reserve and ensure its de facto protection. Consolidate protected areas in which it occurs.

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Touit surdus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 01 September 2015.
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