Green-thighed Parrot Pionites leucogaster


Justification of Red List Category
This species is suffering from the loss, degradation and disturbance of its forested habitat, and may potentially be susceptible to hunting. Based on rates of tree cover loss, it is feared that the population is undergoing a rapid decline, and therefore the species is assessed as Vulnerable.

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

Trend justification
The species is assessed as being in decline as a consequence of the loss, fragmentation and degradation of its habitat and the potential threat of hunting and trapping. Tree cover within the range has been lost at a rate of 16% over the past three generations (17.1 years; Global Forest Watch 2021, using Hansen et al. [2013] data and methods disclosed therein). As the species is restricted to undisturbed forests and only tolerates low levels of habitat conversion (Collar et al. 2020), population declines may be steeper than the rate of tree cover loss suggests. To account for the impact of disturbance and forest degradation, it is here tentatively assumed that the rate of total habitat loss exceeds the rate of tree cover loss by half, i.e. 8%, so that an overall 24% of habitat was lost over the past three generations. The potential impact of hunting and trapping has not been quantified, but in the absence of exact data it is tentatively assumed that this threat adds another 5% to the rate of decline. Based on these calculations, it is suspected that the population declined by 29% over the past three generations. Since 2016, the rate of tree cover loss has been increasing to a rate equivalent to 22% over three generations (Global Forest Watch 2021, using Hansen et al. [2013] data and methods disclosed therein). Under the assumption that disturbance and degradation add a relative half to this rate, i.e. 11%, and that hunting and trapping account for an additional 5%, the population may now be declining by 38% over three generations into the future.

Distribution and population

Pionites leucogaster is distributed from the Rio Madeira to Maranhão, Brazil.


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) and dry forest in the south of its range (Collar et al. 2020). In the east of its range it is known to breed in January; the nest is made in a tree hollow c.30 m above the ground (del Hoyo et al. 1997).


The primary threat to this species is accelerating rates of deforestation in the Amazon basin, as forests are converted for farming and agricultural purposes (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011). While over the past three generations (17.1 years) about 16% of tree cover was lost within the range, this rate has been increasing to 22% since 2016 (Global Forest Watch 2021, using Hansen et al. [2013] data and methods disclosed therein). Despite being common in undisturbed landscapes, this species 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 and trapping for domestic trade (A. Lees in litt. 2011, Collar et al. 2020). It is currently not recorded in international trade (S. Bruslund in litt. 2022).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
No targeted conservation actions are known for this species, but it occurs in several protected areas throughout its range.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Ascertain the species's taxonomic status, and survey to determine its exact distribution in relation to P. xanthomerius and P. xanthurus. Quantify the population size. Investigate the subpopulation structure. Quantify the impact of hunting and trapping on the population size. Monitor the population trend. Protect suitable habitat within the range. Consider establishing a reforestation programme to restore habitat. Raise awareness for the species and its habitat.


Text account compilers
Hermes, C.

Bruslund, S., Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Khwaja, N., Lees, A., Sharpe, C.J., Symes, A. & Taylor, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Pionites leucogaster. Downloaded from on 06/06/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 06/06/2023.