Ochre-marked Parakeet Pyrrhura cruentata


Justification of Red List Category
This species survives in scattered Atlantic forest fragments, where the extent of suitable habitat continues to decline rapidly. Remaining populations are small, severely fragmented in isolated reserves, where protection is mostly inadequate, and are suspected to be declining rapidly. It therefore qualifies as Vulnerable.

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 mature individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 3,750-14,999 individuals, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.

Trend justification
A rapid and on-going population decline is suspected owing to rates of habitat loss.

Distribution and population

Pyrrhura cruentata was formerly common throughout much of south-east Bahia, Espírito Santo, east Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Its current distribution is highly fragmented and now mostly restricted to isolated reserves. The stronghold is the Sooretama Biological Reserve and adjacent Linhares Forest Reserve, Espírito Santo. It remains common in Estação Vera Cruz (formerly the Porto Seguro Reserve), Bahia. Elsewhere it can be relatively common, but numbers in the large Chapada da Diamantina and Monte Pascoal National Parks, Bahia, appear low.


It inhabits the canopy of lowland humid forest and edge, occasionally up to 960 m. It has also been recorded in small clearings and selectively logged forest, and persists (or at least persisted) in agricultural areas where many forest trees are retained (such as shade cocoa plantations). It favours Cecropia-rich regenerating forest (Marsden et al. 2000) where it feeds on seeds and fruit of secondary growth trees such as Trema micrantha and Cecropia. Feeding on agricultural crops has not been observed in the wild. Breeding apparently occurs in the austral spring, when 2-4 eggs are laid in a tree-cavity.


Extensive and continuing forest clearance is responsible for its current fragmented distribution. Its apparent tolerance of shade cacao plantations provides little hope because shading techniques since the 1980s have involved the use of banana and Erythrina trees, rather than standing forest, and unstable prices have resulted in conversion to pasture. Many remaining populations are now affected by site-specific threats such as conflicts between habitat conservation and the rights of local communities in Monte Pascoal National Park. Trapping for the cage-bird trade is a relatively new phenomenon, but the species is rare in national and international markets.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix I. It is considered nationally Vulnerable in Brazil (Silveira and Straube 2008, MMA 2014), and is protected by Brazilian law. It occurs in Chapada da Diamantina and Monte Pascoal National Parks, Barrolândia Experimental Station, Linhares Forest Reserve, Caratinga Reserve, Rio Doce and probably Desengano State Parks, and Córrego Grande, Córrego do Veado and Sooretama Biological Reserves (Wege and Long 1995).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey to locate and protect additional undetected populations (Snyder et al. 2000), especially in south Bahia and north-east Minas Gerais. Ensure the de facto protection of key reserves, especially Sooretama, Linhares and Estação Vera Cruz. Confiscation of birds from trade, and well-planned release of such birds into areas of the species’ former range to enhance recovery and connectivity of disjunct populations (J. Gilardi in litt. 2012).


30 cm. Colourful parakeet. Dark brown crown, becoming mottled on nape. Dark red lores, below eye and part of auriculars. Pale buffy-orange on rear auriculars. Green cheeks. Broad, bright blue gorget on chest, extending thinly behind auriculars to form faint collar. Rest of underparts dark green, with large, red belly patch. Brighter green upperparts with blue outer primaries and red shoulder patch. Yellow and green tail. Dark bill and periocular. Immature duller with less red. Voice High-pitched chatterings.


Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Capper, D., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A., Williams, R.

Jordan, R., Gilardi, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Pyrrhura cruentata. Downloaded from on 16/08/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 16/08/2022.