Pyrilia vulturina


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Pyrilia vulturina
Species Authority: (Kuhl, 1820)
Common Name(s):
English Vulturine Parrot
Gypopsitta vulturina BirdLife International (2008)
Gypopsitta vulturina Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993)
Gypopsitta vulturina Stotz et al. (1996)
Gypopsitta vulturina BirdLife International (2004)
Gypopsitta vulturina Collar and Andrew (1988)
Taxonomic Notes: Use of the genus Pyrilia follows SACC (2008).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A3c ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Taylor, J. & Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Lees, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Khwaja, N., Symes, A.

Based on a model of future deforestation in the Amazon basin, and its dependence on primary forest and sensitivity to fragmentation, it is suspected that the population of this species will decline rapidly over the next three generations, and it has therefore been uplisted to Vulnerable.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Pyrilia vulturina is endemic to north Brazil. Its range extends from the Rio Madeira east to Maranhão (del Hoyo et al. 1997). It is naturally rare, and may be restricted to the areas around major rivers within this region, which would mean its range size is overestimated (A. Lees in litt. 2011).

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

Population [top]

Population: The global population size has not been quantified, but this species is described as 'uncommon' (Stotz et al. 1996).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species occupies both "terra firme" forest (with no flooding) and "várzea" (seasonally flooded forest). It is thought that its bare head may be an adaptation for feeding on large fruit, whose juice would mat feathers (del Hoyo et al. 1997).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

The primary threat to this species is accelerating deforestation in the Amazon basin as land is cleared for cattle ranching and soy production, facilitated by expansion of the road network (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011). Whilst it shows some tolerance of habitat degradation, it may also be susceptible to hunting (A. Lees in litt. 2011). Proposed changes to the Brazilian Forest Code reduce the percentage of land a private landowner is legally required to maintain as forest (including, critically, a reduction in the width of forest buffers alongside perennial steams) and include an amnesty for landowners who deforested before July 2008 (who would subsequently be absolved of the need to reforest illegally cleared land) (Bird et al. 2011).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

Conservation Actions Underway
None is known.

Conservation Actions Proposed

Expand the protected area network to effectively protect IBAs. Effectively resource and manage existing and new protected areas, utilising emerging opportunities to finance protected area management with the joint aims of reducing carbon emissions and maximizing biodiversity conservation. Conservation on private lands, through expanding market pressures for sound land management and preventing forest clearance on lands unsuitable for agriculture, is also essential (Soares-Filho et al. 2006). Campaign against proposed changes to the Brazilian Forest Code that would lead to a decrease in the width of the areas of riverine forest protected as Permanent Preservation Areas (APPs), which function as vital corridors in fragmented landscapes.

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