Pyrrhura caeruleiceps 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Psittaciformes Psittacidae

Scientific Name: Pyrrhura caeruleiceps Todd, 1947
Common Name(s):
English Perija Parakeet
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. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
Taxonomic Notes: Pyrrhura picta, P. snethlageae, P. parvifrons, P. amazonum, P. lucianii, P. roseifrons, P. peruviana, P. subandina, P. caeruleiceps and P. eisenmanni (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) were previously lumped as P. picta following Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993).
Identification information: 22 cm. One of the largely green medium-sized parakeets (often called conures) with long maroon-red tails, dark red belly patch and bright blue primaries. P. caeruleiceps has a blue forecrown becoming brown suffused blue further back, red carpal area and pale grey-brown ear coverts. Similar species. Most similar to P. eisenmanni and P. subandina, but typically these both have a green carpal area. P. eisenmanni lacks blue in the crown and has paler whitish ear coverts, while P. subandina had blue restricted to the forecrown and has duller ear coverts.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered 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): Salaman, P. & Sharpe, C J
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Khwaja, N., Martin, R, Taylor, J., Symes, A., Sharpe, C.J.
This newly-split parakeet has a restricted range on the Venezuela-Colombia border, where habitat loss and fragmentation owing to clearance for cattle ranching and illegal drug cultivation has been extensive, and capture for trade may be a further significant threat. The remaining population is thought to be very small and fragmented into extremely small subpopulations, which are undergoing continuing declines, and the species has therefore been classified as Endangered.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Pyrrhura caeruleiceps is found on the west slope at the northern end of the east Andes from south Cesar state north through Los Motilones into the Sierra de Perijá, on the border of Venezuela and Colombia. It is estimated to have lost approximately 70% of its original habitat within its Colombian distribution, and its area of occupancy within Colombia is predicted to be less than 3,700 km2 (Botero-Delgadillo et al. 2012a,b). An extremely poorly-known species in Venezuela, there are a few specimens and sight records from just four localities, all in Zulia state; very infrequently recorded in recent years, despite significant fieldwork (Sharpe 2015, C.J. Sharpe in litt. 2015).
Countries occurrence:
Colombia; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:30100
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:NoLower elevation limit (metres):400
Upper elevation limit (metres):2200
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:A preliminary population estimate is of 1,000-2,499 mature individuals, with all subpopulations numbering fewer than 250 mature individuals. Population in Venezuela estimated at fewer than 1000 mature birds (Sharpe 2015).

Trend Justification:  The species is inferred to be undergoing a rapid continuing decline owing to extensive habitat loss and fragmentation and capture for the pet trade.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:1000-2499Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
Continuing 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:Occurs between 400 and 2,200 m in elevation (Botero-Delgadillo and Páez 2011), and spending much of the time in groups of up to 10 in forest and forest/agriculture mosaic habitats (Botero-Delgadillo et al. 2013). It is suggested that dispersal in the species may be constrained by fragmentation, with observations that flocks fly over and inside forest and at less than ten meters above canopy-level indicating unwillingness to cross open habitat (Botero-Delgadillo et al. 2013). The species is not thought to be more restricted to primary forest than other Pyrrhura species given the frequency that it has been encountered in forest-agriculture mosaics (Botero-Delgadillo et al. 2013).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):6
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Habitat loss is the greatest threat to the species, with an estimated 70% of the species original habitat having been lost to cattle ranching and other clearance. The Venezuelan side of the Sierra de Perijá is being rapidly colonised, particularly by Colombian farmers (Sharpe 2015, C.J. Sharpe in litt. 2015). There are concerns that this may fragment the range due to the species being unwilling to cross open habitats (Delgadillo et al. 2013). Habitat destruction in the Perijá Mountains has also been driven by the illicit drug trade and associated enforcement operations, and conservation activities for this species are considered likely to be significantly constrained thoughout much of the range (Fjeldså et al. 2005). The species has also been recorded in the wild bird trade, and local people within the bird's range are said to value the species as a pet (Delgadillo et al. 2012).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation and research actions underway
The Sierra de Perijá National Park covers most of its range in Venezuela; however, there is no effective management (Sharpe 2015).

Conservation and research actions proposed
Confirm presence in the Catatumbo-Barí National Park. Protection of part of its Colombian distribution in the northern reaches of the eastern Cordillera and the Perijá Mountains is a priority (Botero-Delgadillo et al. 2012). Study habitat requirements, reproductive biology and population status in order to design management tools that combat the negative effects of extensive forest degradation (Botero-Delgadillo et al. 2012) eg. maintaining corridors to enable connectivity between subpopulations.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:No
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
2. Land/water management -> 2.3. Habitat & natural process restoration

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:No
  Systematic monitoring scheme:No
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
  Invasive species control or prevention:No
In-Place Species Management
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:No
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:No
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:No
  Included in international legislation:No
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.3. Agro-industry farming
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity:Rapid Declines ⇒ Impact score:Medium Impact: 7 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.3. Agro-industry grazing, ranching or farming
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity:Rapid Declines ⇒ Impact score:Medium Impact: 7 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity:Slow, Significant Declines ⇒ Impact score:Medium Impact: 6 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology

Bibliography [top]

Botero-Delgadillo, E. & Páez, C. A. 2011. Estado actual del conocimiento y conservación de los loros amenazados de Colombia. Conservación Colombiana 14: 86-151.

Botero-Delgadillo, E., Páez, C. A. and Bayly, N. 2012. Biogeography and conservation of Andean and Trans-Andean populations of Pyrrhura parakeets in Colombia: Modelling geographic distributions to identify independent conservation units. Bird Conservation International 22: 445–461: 445–461.

Botero-Delgadillo, E., Páez, C. A., Sanabria-Mejía, J. S. 2012. Discovery of Two New Localities for Todd's Parakeet Pyrrhura picta caeruleiceps Using Distribution Models: Enhancing Knowledge of a Little Known Neotropical Bird. Ardeola 59(2): 237-252.

Botero-Delgadillo, E., Páez, C., Sanabria-Mejía, J. and Bayly, N.J. 2013. Insights into the natural history of Todd's Parakeet Pyrrhura picta caeruleiceps in north eastern Colombia. Ardeola 60(2): 377-383.

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N., Kirwan, G.M. and Sharpe, C.J. 2016. Perija Parakeet (Pyrrhura caeruleiceps). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. and de Juana, E. (eds), Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive, Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.

del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J. 1997. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 4: Sandgrouse to Cuckoos. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Fjeldsa, J.; Alvarez, M.D.; Lazcano, J.M.; León, B. 2005. Illicit crops and armed conflict as constraints on biodiversity conservation in the Andes region. Ambio 34: 205-211.

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-3. Available at: (Accessed: 07 December 2016).

Joseph, L. & Stockwell, D. 2002. Climatic modeling of the distribution of some Pyrrhura parakeets of northwestern South America with notes on their systematics and special reference to Pyrrhura caeruleiceps Todd, 1947. Ornithologia Neotropical 13(1): 1-8.

López-O., J.P.; Avendaño, J.E.; Gutiérrez-Pinto, N.; Cuervo, A.M. 2014. The birds of the Serranía de Perijá: The northernmost avifauna of the Andes. Orn. Colombiana 14: 62-93.

Sharpe, C.J. 2015. Perico de Todd Pyrrhura caeruleiceps. In: Rodríguez, J.P., García-Rawlins, A. and Rojas-Suárez, F. (eds), Libro Rojo de la Fauna Venezolana. Cuarta edición, Provita & Fundación Empresas Polar, Caracas, Venezuela.

Stotz, D.F., Fitzpatrick, J.W., Parker, T.A. and Moskovits, D.K. 1996. Neotropical Birds: Ecology and Conservation. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Tovar-Martínez, A. E. 2010. Redescubrimiento y notas sobre la ecología y vocalizaciones del Periquito de Todd (Pyrrhura picta caeruleiceps) en el nororiente de Colombia. Ornitología Colombiana 9: 48-55.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Pyrrhura caeruleiceps. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T45422600A95151564. . Downloaded on 22 September 2018.
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