Indigo-winged Parrot Hapalopsittaca fuertesi


Justification of Red List category
This species has a very small population which has declined in the past mainly due to the loss of forested habitat. Intense conservation action, including the protection of habitat and the provision of artificial nestboxes, have however halted and reversed the decline, so that the species is currently increasing. Its range is very small and mature trees, which are important nesting sites, are at risk of selective logging. The species is therefore listed as Endangered.

Population justification
In 2019, the National Parrot Census counted 180-200 individuals at five sites across the Cordillera Central: 30 individuals in Murrillo (Tolima), 90-100 individuals in the Giles-Fuertes Nature Reserve in Cajamarca (Tolima), 10-20 individuals in the Loro Coroniazul Bird Reserve and El Mirador Municipality Reserve in Génova (Quindío), 20 individuals in Chaparral (Tolima) and 30 individuals at the Finca Cortaderal (Risaralda) (Fundación ProAves per P. Salaman in litt. 2019). The total population is currently estimated at 350-450 individuals (Fundación ProAves per A. Cortes in litt. 2021). This equates roughly to 230-300 mature individuals.

Trend justification
The species evidently declined in the past, but owing to coordinated conservation efforts at the species's stronghold the decline is historical and the species has been increasing since at least 2004 (Renjifo et al. 2014; P. Salaman in litt. 2019). It is assumed that habitat protection and the provision of artificial nestboxes quickly halted and reversed the decline, however the population increases only slowly and may be locally stable (P. Salaman in litt. 2019; E. Soler in litt. 2021).
At the time of the rediscovery in 2002, around 60 individuals were estimated (Rainforest Trust 2010). In 2010, the known population consisted of 164 individuals at two sites, and in 2019 the total population was estimated at 180-200 individuals (Fundación ProAves per P. Salaman in litt. 2019; A. Cortes in litt. 2021). Over the past ten years, the population thus increased by 10-25%.

Distribution and population

This species has a highly restricted range on the west slope of the Central Andes of Colombia in the departments of Quindío, Risaralda and Tolima. Until 2002 it was known with certainty only from the type-series collected at Laguneta and Santa Isabel in 1911. There were several possible sightings between 1980 and 2000, including a group at Santa Rosa de Cabal (Risaralda) in 1980 and one individual at the same locality in 2000, in the Alto Quindío Acaime Natural Reserve and in the nearby Cañon del Quindío Natural Reserve (Quindío), in 1989-1991, and a sighting in 2000 between Ibague and Cajamarca (Tolima) (Renjifo et al. 2014). In July 2002, the first confirmed sighting was made in Cajamarca (Tolima), when 14 birds were located in a small area of forest (Parr and Gilardi 2002; Anon. 2010; Renjifo et al. 2014). The species has also been recorded by Fundación ProAves in montane forest in the Génova municipality (Quindío) (Renjifo et al. 2014). Currently, the species's presence is confirmed in eleven localities in the Cordillera Central, including on the slopes of Nevado del Ruiz, Nevado de Santa Isabel, Nevado del Tolima, Nevado del Quindío, as well as the Giles Fuertesi, Loro Coroniazul, El Mirador and Loros Andinos reserves (Fundación ProAves per A. Cortes in litt. 2021).


This species inhabits Andean forest at elevations of 2,600-3,800 m, but mostly 2,900-3,150 m (L. M. Renjifo in litt. 2019). It is restricted to mature montane cloud forest, but is sometimes observed at forest edges or converted habitats (Renjifo et al. 2014). Berries of mistletoes (mostly Antidaphne viscoidea), as well as fruits of Podocarpus oleifolius, Freziera canescens and dry bromeliads are key food sources (L. M. Renjifo in litt. 2019). The species is often found in pairs or groups of up to 10 individuals; it is described as inconspicuous, not vocalising much (Renjifo et al. 2014; L. M. Renjifo in litt. 2019). It breeds in tree cavities, with the nesting period taking place from January to May (Renjifo et al. 2014). The average clutch size is three eggs. Incubation is conducted solely by the female, although post-hatching care is biparental (Díaz 2006).


The major threat to the species is forest loss for cattle pasture and selective logging for timber and firewood (Renjifo et al. 2014). Most mature trees with natural cavities have been logged, creating a shortage of natural nesting sites. Clearance of forest in the region of the type-locality was already extensive in 1911, and it is estimated that the species has lost almost 50% of its original habitat (Renjifo et al. 2014). Deforestation rates have however slowed down considerably in recent years, amounting to <1% over the past ten years (Global Forest Watch 2021). A large gold reserve was discovered close to a key population, however, the threat of deforestation was mitigated when Fundación ProAves purchased and protected 294 ha of critical habitat (Fundación ProAves per P. Salaman in litt. 2019). Trapping has likely also contributed to past declines, albeit at a low rate (Fundación ProAves per A. Cortes in litt. 2021).

Conservation actions

Conservation and Research Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. The species is considered Critically Endangered at the national level in Colombia (Renjifo et al. 2014).
The Threatened Parrots of the Cordillera Central project by Fundación ProAves has been active since 2004 trying to locate new populations and implement the required conservation actions. Although there are no known populations breeding within state-protected areas, a series of private reserves were acquired and managed by Fundación ProAves to protect core habitat for the species. These include 631 ha in the Loro Coroniazul Bird Reserve in Génova (Quindío), managed with adjacent municipality land at El Mirador, and 294 ha in the Giles-Fuertes Bird Reserve in Cajamarca (Tolima), which protects over 50% of the known total population (Fundación ProAves per P. Salaman in litt. 2019). Additional regional protection was conferred to the Loro Coroniazul Bird Reserve and El Mirador Municipality Reserve in 2011, when the Paramos y Bosques Alto Andinos de Génova IBA was designated as an 'Integrated Management Regional District' (Protected Planet 2020).
Fundación ProAves has also been working with local communities to restore degraded forest habitats and prevent hunting and logging. Over 200 nest-boxes have been installed and have been successful at facilitating breeding (P. Salaman in litt. 1999, 2008; Tovar Martínez 2009). A Species Conservation Plan was established in early 2008 (ProAves 2009). There are no known individuals in captivity.

Conservation and Research Actions Proposed
Monitor the population. Continue researching its ecological requirements to enable effective protection and management of remaining habitat. Acquire private properties with core breeding populations and suitable habitat. Prevent the logging of key habitat. Work with local farmers and communities to raise awareness for the species and its habitat. Acquire and reforest pastureland with native trees. Continue and expand the nest-box scheme.


24 cm. Chunky, mainly green parrot. Orange-red frontal bar, yellow forecrown and face, blue rear crown and nape. Green upperparts and wings with red shoulder and carpal, some blue in secondary coverts and dark bluish primaries. Yellow-olive breast, variable red central belly-patch, rest of underparts green. Red tail with violet tip. Immature has less yellow streaking and duller face. Similar spp. H. amazonina velezi has more red on head, yellow streaking on sides of head and green hindneck concolourous with mantle. Voice Flight call a gull-like disyllabic reh-enk.


Text account compilers
Wheatley, H., Hermes, C.

Ashpole, J, Benstead, P., Bird, J., Butchart, S., Calvert, R., Capper, D., Fundación ProAves, Isherwood, I., López-Lanús, B., Renjifo, L., Salaman, P.G.W., Sharpe, C.J., Soler, E., Symes, A. & Taylor, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Hapalopsittaca fuertesi. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org/species/factsheet/indigo-winged-parrot-hapalopsittaca-fuertesi on 30/09/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org on 30/09/2023.