Pyrilia pyrilia 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Psittaciformes Psittacidae

Scientific Name: Pyrilia pyrilia (Bonaparte, 1853)
Common Name(s):
English Saffron-headed Parrot
Gypopsitta pyrilia BirdLife International (2008)
Pionopsitta pyrilia Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993)
Pionopsitta pyrilia BirdLife International (2004)
Pionopsitta pyrilia AOU checklist (1998 + supplements)
Pionopsitta pyrilia BirdLife International (2000)
Pionopsitta pyrilia Stotz et al. (1996)
Taxonomic Source(s): SACC. 2005 and updates. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #
Identification information: 24 cm. Striking, green parrot with yellow head. Mostly green with bright yellow head (washed orange behind eye), white orbital patch and dusky lores and nares, yellow shoulders, blackish primaries, red carpal area and underwing-coverts, brown breast-band, red flanks, yellow thighs and green tail with dusky blue tip. Immature has green head, shoulders and carpal area. Similar spp. Adult Brown-hooded Parrot P. haematotis lacks yellow head and immature has dull brown on crown. Sympatric Pionus spp. are larger, have a different flight action, red undertail-coverts and lack the yellow head. Voice Reedy cheweek.

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): Angehr, G., Cuervo, A., Donegan, T., Dávalos, L., Freile, J., Rodríguez, J., Rojas-Suárez, F., Salaman, P. & Sharpe, C J, Stiles, F.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Bird, J., Butchart, S., Harding, M., Isherwood, I., Sharpe, C.J., Stuart, T., Symes, A.
This species has a moderately small population which is suspected to be declining, and it therefore qualifies as Near Threatened. It is considered nationally Vulnerable in Colombia (Renjifo et al. 2002) and Venezuela (Sharpe 2008).

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Gypopsitta pyrilia occurs in east Darién, Panama, north Colombia and north-west Venezuela. There are two records from north-west Ecuador, a presumed wandering pair in Cotacachi-Cayapas National Park and a flock of c. 20 in Pedro Vicente Maldonado, north-west Pichincha (Ridgely and Greenfield 2001), but its status is unclear (J. F. Freile in litt. 2000, Ridgely and Greenfield 2001). It is now rare in accessible areas, but remains common in the Serranía de las Quinchas, (Boyacá), and at Cerro de la Paz (Santander) (Donegan et al. 2003), Colombia and is unlikely to have declined significantly in Chocó, Colombia, or Darién (G. R. Angehr in litt. 1999, G. Stiles in litt. 1999). There are few recent records, but it may still be numerous at the northern base of the Andes, Cordoba, northern Antioquia and Bolívar, and in the Magdalena valley, east Caldas and south-east Antioquia, Colombia (Hilty and Brown 1986, A. Cuervo in litt. 1999). It seems to have declined in Venezuela, where recent records are from the Mérida area, the south-east slopes of the Cordillera de Mérida, Barinas (Kirwan and Sharpe 1999, C. Sharpe, J. Rodríguez and F. Rojas-Suárez in litt. 1999) and Sierra de Perijá (C. J. Sharpe in litt. 2011). The total population may have dropped below 10,000 individuals (Juniper and Parr 1998, G. Stiles in litt. 1999). Indeed, the western population (west of Sinu) is thought to be 2,000-4,000 individuals (most intact habitat), the central population (Serranía de San Lucas) is probably much fewer than 1,000 individuals, the western slope of eastern Cordillera is estimated at approximately 1,000 individuals and the eastern slope of eastern Cordillera and Merida perhaps less than 1,000 individuals (C. Sharpe, J. Rodríguez and F. Rojas-Suárez in litt. 1999).

Countries occurrence:
Colombia; Panama; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
Present - origin uncertain:
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:577000
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:Yes
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Upper elevation limit (metres):1650
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The population is estimated to number at least 7,000 individuals in total, roughly equivalent to 4,700 mature individuals (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 2006).

Trend Justification:  A slow to moderate and on-going population decline is suspected on the basis of rates of habitat loss: its favoured habitat is severely threatened (T. Donegan in litt. 2006).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:4700Continuing 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
No. of individuals in largest subpopulation:1-89

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It inhabits humid lowland forest, forest edge and tall secondary growth to c.1,000 m (Hilty and Brown 1986), moving, probably seasonally, to cloud-forest as high as 1,650 m in Venezuela (Hilty 2003). Specimens in breeding condition have been taken during March-June in Colombia, with juveniles seen in July in the Serranía de Perijá (Hilty and Brown 1986). Most records come from mature forest and it is not thought to move far between fragments (P. Salaman in litt. 2006).

Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):6.9
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Habitat loss has been occurring in the Magdalena valley for at least four centuries, but accelerated markedly throughout the 20th century (Stiles et al. 1999), and remains the chief threat in Colombia. Most forest on the eastern slopes of the Serranía de San Lucas has been lost since 1996 (A. Cuervo in litt. 1999, L. Dávalos in litt. 1999, P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999). Causes include logging, settlement, agriculture and mining (Cuervo and Salaman 1999, A. Cuervo in litt. 1999, L. Dávalos in litt. 1999, P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, Stiles et al. 1999). In Colombia, some birds are captured for the pet trade (G. Stiles in litt. 1999, Snyder et al. 2000). It could be affected by stream pollution caused by mining and cocaine production (L. Dávalos in litt. 1999, P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999). In Sierra de Perijá, Venezuela, it is also hunted for food (C. J. Sharpe in litt. 2011)

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. Extensive, intact habitat is protected in Venezuela and Panama (G. R. Angehr in litt. 1999, C. Sharpe, J. Rodríguez and F. Rojas-Suárez in litt. 1999). Paramillo National Park, Antioquia, officially protects 4,600 km2, but human settlement and associated threats are continuing unabated (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Determine its population size and distribution (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, C. Sharpe, J. Rodríguez and F. Rojas-Suárez in litt. 1999, Snyder et al. 2000). Assess range-wide threats (C. Sharpe, J. Rodríguez and F. Rojas-Suárez in litt. 1999). Study its biology and movements (C. Sharpe, J. Rodríguez and F. Rojas-Suárez in litt. 1999, Snyder et al. 2000). Protect habitat in the Serranía de San Lucas and north-west Chocó (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Pyrilia pyrilia. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22686125A93099249. . Downloaded on 22 May 2018.
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