Indigo-winged Parrot Hapalopsittaca fuertesi


Justification of Red List Category
This species has an extremely small population which is thought to be declining as a result of habitat loss and degradation. These factors result in its classification as Critically Endangered.

Population justification
The total population is estimated to number less than 250 mature individuals (Renjifo 2002, 2014) and is placed here in the band 50-249 mature individuals.

Trend justification
Current trends for this species are poorly known. It has evidently declined in the past but thanks to co-ordinated conservation efforts at the species's stronghold this decline has slowed and may have ceased, but it is precautionarily retained as undergoing a continuing decline.

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. In 1980 a group of Hapalopsittaca presumed to be of this species were observed at Santa Rosa de Cabal, Risaralda, and an individual was later reported in the same area in 2000 (Renjifo 2002). From 1989-1991 there were reports from Alto Quindío Acaime Natural Reserve and in the nearby Cañon del Quindío Natural Reserve, Quindío. In 2000 there was a reported sighting between Ibague and Cajamarca, Tolima (Renjifo 2002). 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). The species has also been recorded by Fundación ProAves in montane forest in Génova municipality, Quindío Department (Renjifo et al. 2014), where the largest group observed consisted of 25 birds and the total population in the El Mirador municipal reserve is estimated at approximately 60 individuals (Renjifo 2014). The total population is estimated to number less than 250 mature individuals (Renjifo 2014).


This is a poorly-known inhabitant of cloud-forest at elevations of 2,610-3,600 m, but mostly 3,300-3,500 m. The species is restricted to mature montane cloud forest with a high occurrence of mistletoe (berries are a key food source of the species). Studies since 2003 have gathered extensive information on the species's breeding and feeding ecology, with the nesting period taking place from January to May. The average clutch size is three eggs. Incubation is conducted solely by the female, although post-hatching care is biparental (Díaz 2006).


Clearance of forest in the region of the type-locality was already extensive in 1911, and very little habitat now remains. The species remains highly threatened by forest loss for cattle pasture and selective logging of mature trees (vital for nesting) for timber and firewood. A large gold reserve was discovered close to a key population, however, the threat of deforestation was mitigated by a group of conservation organisations who purchased the area of critical habitat which is now a reserve (Anon. 2012). Most mature trees with natural cavities have been selectively logged, creating a shortage of natural nesting sites.

Conservation actions

Conservation and Research Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. Considered Critically Endangered at the national level in Colombia (Renjifo et al. 2002, 2014). A series of reserves, known collectively as the Threatened Parrot Corridor, now protects approximately 70% of the species's population (more than 7,285 ha of key habitat) (Anon. 2012). It is protected in Alto Quindio Acaime and Cañon del Quindío Natural Reserves, Los Nevados National Park and El Mirador municipal reserve. It occurs in the Paramos y Bosques Alto Andinos De Genova IBA, which was designated as a regional reserve in 2008 (Tovar-Martinez 2014). An area of 631 ha of core habitat was acquired by Fundación ProAves with the support of Fundación Loro Parque, American Bird Conservancy and IUCN Netherlands and is now managed as Loro Coroniazul Bird Reserve: surrounding municipality land is also being managed for the species (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, 2008). Another protected area, the Giles-Fuertesi Bird Reserve located in Cajamarca, was recently created with the support of Fundación Loro Parque and comprises nearly 300 ha at 3,200-3,700 m, including areas of cloud-forest (Anon. 2010, ABC 2012). This reserve will become a centre for research focussed on this species, including studies into its habitat use, behaviour and reproduction (Anon. 2010).

The Threatened Parrots of the Cordillera Central project has been working with local communities to restore degraded forest habitats and protect existing habitat (Anon. 2014a). Over 200 nest-boxes have been installed and have been very successful at allowing high breeding success (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, 2008, Tovar Martínez 2009, Forshaw and Knight 2017). A Species Conservation Plan was established in early 2008 (ProAves 2009), and since 2005 the ProAves 'Parrot Bus' has been raising awareness through environmental education programmes in rural communities of the central Andes. An annual Fuertes's Parrot Festival has also been established in Génova (Anon. 2014a). There are no known individuals in captivity. 

Conservation and Research Actions Proposed
Investigate the possibility that it occurs in Ucumari regional park. Monitor its population and research its ecological requirements to enable effective management of remaining habitat. Ensure the effective management of Alto Quindío Acaime Natural Reserve (Snyder et al. 2000) and El Mirador Municipality Nature Reserve. Acquire private properties with core breeding population and protect the species from expanding pasturelands. Work with local farmers and communities in raising awareness of the species's conservation and avoid possible trade of the species. Continue monitoring the population. Acquire and reforest pastureland with native trees.


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
Benstead, P., Ashpole, J, Wheatley, H., Butchart, S., Bird, J., Calvert, R., Capper, D., Isherwood, I., Sharpe, C.J., Symes, A., Taylor, J.

Salaman, P., López-Lanús, B.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Hapalopsittaca fuertesi. Downloaded from on 05/06/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 05/06/2020.