Black-legged Parrot Pionites xanthomerius


Justification of Red List Category

This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (extent of occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but this species is described as 'fairly common' (Stotz et al. 1996).

Trend justification
This species is suspected to lose 10.3-12.7% of suitable habitat within its distribution over three generations (24 years) from 2002, based on a model of Amazonian deforestation (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011). Given the susceptibility of the species to hunting and trapping, and the fact that it is intolerant of habitat degradation and small fragments, it is suspected to decline by 10-24% over this time period.

Distribution and population

Pionites xanthomerius is abundant in parts of eastern Peru, and is present in Manu National Park (del Hoyo et al. 1997). It also occurs in northern Bolivia, although it may have been extirpated from Santa Cruz as a result of habitat destruction. This taxon's range extends into western Brazil (del Hoyo et al. 1997).


This species occurs along watercourses in lowland tropical rainforest. It preferentially occurs in várzea (seasonally flooded forest), although it is also found in terra firme forest (with no flooding) (del Hoyo et al. 1997).


The primary threat to this species is accelerating rates of deforestation in the Amazon basin (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 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). Despite being common in undisturbed landscapes, it is not thought to be tolerant of secondary forest or agropastoral land and appears restricted to alluvial habitats. It may also be susceptible to hunting (A. Lees in litt. 2011).


Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Khwaja, N., Symes, A. & Taylor, J.

Lees, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Pionites xanthomerius. Downloaded from on 22/01/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 22/01/2019.