Touit surdus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Psittaciformes Psittacidae

Scientific Name: Touit surdus (Kuhl, 1820)
Common Name(s):
English Golden-tailed Parrotlet
Spanish Cotorrita Sorda
Touit surda (Kuhl, 1820) — Collar and Andrew (1988)
Touit surda (Kuhl, 1820) — BirdLife International (2000)
Touit surda (Kuhl, 1820) — Collar et al. (1994)
Touit surda (Kuhl, 1820) — BirdLife International (2004)
Touit surda (Kuhl, 1820) — Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993)
Touit surda (Kuhl, 1820) — Stotz et al. (1996)
Taxonomic Source(s): SACC. 2005 and updates. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #
Identification information: 16 cm. Green forest parrotlet. Bright grass-green, brighter on undersides. Yellowish area in forefront, around face and cheeks. Scaled appearance on crown and neck. Brownish scapulars forming two bands on back. Dark primaries and primary coverts with green patch at base of primaries. Short, square tail, golden-yellow tipped black, with green central rectrices. Female similar with yellowish-green sides of tail. Similar spp. Brown-backed Parrotlet T. melanonota has a dark brown back and bright red sides of tail. Pileated Parrot Pionopsitta pileata is large and male has red on forehead. Voice High-pitched, strident rattles

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2c+3c+4c;C2a(i) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Barnett, J., Mazar Barnett, J., Oniki, Y., Whittaker, A., Willis, E. & Silveira, L.F.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Capper, D., Clay, R.P., 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.

Previously published Red List assessments:

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). 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), and from 13 new localities in Pernambuco, Paraíba and Alagoas (Pereira et al. 2014). It was also recently found nesting in arboreal termitaria in forest fragments in Pernambuco (Telino et al. 2000).

Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:1680000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Number of Locations:11-100Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Upper elevation limit (metres):1000
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.

Trend Justification:  A rapid and on-going population decline is suspected on the basis of continuing habitat destruction and fragmentation.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:2500-9999Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
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 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.

Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):5
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

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. It is considered Vulnerable at the national level in Brazil (MMA 2014). 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. 2016. Touit surdus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22686054A93097618. . Downloaded on 20 April 2018.
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