Blue-headed Macaw Primolius couloni


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.
SACC. 2005 and updates. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

IUCN Red list criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - C2a(ii)

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2021 Vulnerable C2a(ii)
2018 Vulnerable C2a(ii)
2016 Vulnerable C2a(ii)
2012 Vulnerable C2a(ii)
2009 Vulnerable C2a(i)
2008 Endangered
2005 Endangered
2004 Near Threatened
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern
Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency High
Land mass type Land-mass type - continent
Average mass 250 g

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 1,041,000 medium
Number of locations -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 9200-46000 medium estimated 2007
Population trend Decreasing poor inferred -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) - - -
Number of subpopulations 1 - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation 100 - - -
Generation length (yrs) 5 - - -

Population justification: The species is considered not uncommon in some parts within its range, but in other areas it appears to be scarce, or even absent. It has been recorded throughout the year at some sites, but numbers elsewhere seem to vary seasonally and the species may wander in response to food availability, confounding attempts to draw conclusions about population density across its range. Estimating its population size is therefore notoriously difficult, but a review of available records put the population at 9,200-46,000 individuals in 2007 (Tobias and Brightsmith 2007). This estimate should however be updated.

Trend justification: Over the past three generations (15 years; Bird et al. 2020), 4.5% of tree cover has been lost within the range (Global Forest Watch 2021). The species however tolerates habitat conversion or may even benefit from it (Collar et al. 2020); therefore forest loss alone may not be driving a rapid population decline. Until recently, the species used to be rare in captivity and trade (e.g., Herrera and Hennessey 2008; Gastañaga et al. 2011); however it appears that trade is increasing now (Collar et al. 2020). Therefore tentatively, the species is inferred to undergo a continuing decline, but the rate of decline is not known.

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Bolivia N Extant Yes
Brazil N Extant Yes
Peru N Extant Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Bolivia Federico Román
Bolivia Reserva Nacional Amazónica Manuripi Heath
Bolivia Tahuamanu
Peru Reserva Amazónica
Peru Manu
Peru Bahuaja-Sonene
Peru Paratori
Peru Alto Purus
Peru Los Amigos
Peru Cordillera Vilcabamba
Peru Santuario Nacional del Ampay
Brazil Alto Juruá
Brazil Parque Nacional da Serra do Divisor
Brazil Tabocais
Peru Parque Nacional Cordillera Azul
Brazil Baixo Rio Javari
Peru Tambopata

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable resident
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland suitable resident
Artificial/Terrestrial Rural Gardens suitable resident
Artificial/Terrestrial Subtropical/Tropical Heavily Degraded Former Forest major resident
Artificial/Terrestrial Urban Areas marginal resident
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland major resident
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane major resident
Altitude 0 - 800 m Occasional altitudinal limits (max) 1550 m

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Species mortality
Biological resource use Logging & wood harvesting - Unintentional effects: (subsistence/small scale) [harvest] Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Energy production & mining Mining & quarrying Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Energy production & mining Oil & gas drilling Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - International Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Primolius couloni. Downloaded from on 07/10/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 07/10/2022.