Grey-cheeked Parakeet Brotogeris pyrrhoptera


Justification of Red List Category
This species qualifies as Endangered because it has been affected by very rapid rates of population decline caused by trapping for the cagebird trade, plus habitat loss. Future population declines are projected to be slower, but still a serious cause for concern.

Population justification
Best et al. (1995).

Trend justification
A very rapid population decline is suspected to have taken place over the last 10 years, on the basis of continued illegal trapping for the bird trade together with habitat destruction and fragmentation, and persecution. The rate of decline is expected to be slower over the next 10 years.

Distribution and population

Brotogeris pyrrhoptera occurs in south-west Ecuador and extreme north-west Peru, from the río Chone valley, Manabí, south to El Oro and Loja, Ecuador, and Tumbes and Piura in Peru. The largest populations are in coastal Manabí and Guayas, and on the Ecuador-Peru border (Juniper and Parr 1998), with largest populations in Peru in Cerros de Amotape National Park and Tumbes National Reserve (S. Crespo in litt. 2012). A population decrease during the 20th century became marked in the early 1980s (Best et al. 1995, Juniper and Parr 1998), with 59,320 birds reportedly imported by CITES countries in 1983-1988. In 1995, the wild population was estimated at 15,000 birds, principally in Ecuador (Best et al. 1995). This represents a very crude decline of c.70% in 10 years, although it is still locally common in suitable habitat remnants (Juniper and Parr 1998). Transect counts in Cerros de Amotape National Park and Tumbes National Reserve revealed a decline of 33.2% between 1992 and 2008 (Anon. 2009).


The species is most numerous in deciduous forest dominated by Ceiba trichistandra, but it also occurs in humid evergreen forest, dry forest, arid Acacia-dominated scrub and semi-open agricultural areas (Best et al. 1995, M. R. Rosales in litt. 2012), and probably only sporadically in heavily degraded areas (Juniper and Parr 1998). It usually occurs in pairs or small flocks, foraging for flowers, seeds, fruit and catkins (Best 1992), with Ceiba fruit apparently preferred (Pople et al. 1997). Small flocks have also been recorded taking bananas and maize (Best et al. 1995, Juniper and Parr 1998). Breeding has been noted between February and August, but most breeding occurs between August and December, at least in Peru (S. Crespo in litt. 2012, M. R. Rosales in litt. 2012).


The illegal cage-bird trade and habitat loss are the principal threats (Rosales and Obando 2011, S. Crespo in litt. 2012). Numbers imported by CITES countries represent an absolute minimum of those in international trade, and exclude internal trade. Natural habitats are being rapidly destroyed through agricultural conversion, logging and grazing by goats and cattle, which prevents forest regeneration and seriously threatens deciduous forests (Pople et al. 1997). Persecution as a crop-pest may also be significant (Best 1992), and the species apparently suffered from poaching pressure in the late 1990s (Rosales et al. 2010, Rosales and Obando 2011).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II and CMS Appendix I. International trade is banned in both Ecuador and Peru (Juniper and Parr 1998). It occurs in several protected areas, of which Cerro Blanco Protective Forest, Ecuador, and Tumbes National Reserve and Cerros de Amotape National Park, Peru, are particularly important breeding sites (Best 1992, Parker et al. 1995, Pople et al. 1997, Rosales and Obando 2011, S. Crespo in litt. 2012).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys and other research to determine population size and distribution (Best 1992, M. R. Rosales in litt. 2012). Determine its habitat requirements and ecology, especially the timing of the breeding season. Monitor rates of forest loss within its range (M. R. Rosales in litt. 2012). Enforce strict trade bans, coupled with conservation education programmes (Best 1992). Support alternative livelihood initiatives for local people, in order to discourage poaching and trapping. Protect and manage key sites within its range (M. R. Rosales in litt. 2012) and further develop captive breeding populations.


20 cm. Largely green parakeet with bluish crown, pale grey cheeks, bluish primary coverts, orange underwing-coverts. Large pale bill. Immature has green crown. Similar spp. Noticeably smaller than sympatric parrots, except tiny Pacific Parrotlet Forpus coelestis, which is much smaller and shorter tailed. Voice Flight call a trilling stleeet stleeet. When perched a grating stteeet stteeet.


Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Isherwood, I., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A., Khwaja, N.

Crespo, SIC, Lloyd, H., Rosales, M., Horstman, E.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Brotogeris pyrrhoptera. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/09/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/09/2021.