Orange-fronted Parakeet Eupsittula canicularis


Taxonomic note
Eupsittula canicularis (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was previously placed in the genus Aratinga.

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN Red List criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - A2bcd+4bcd

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2020 Vulnerable A2bcd+4bcd
2016 Least Concern
2012 Least Concern
2009 Least Concern
2008 Least Concern
2004 Least Concern
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern
Species attributes

Migratory status nomadic Forest dependency medium
Land-mass type Average mass 85 g

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence (breeding/resident) 1,620,000 km2 medium
Severely fragmented? no -
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
Population size 500000-4999999 mature individuals poor estimated 2019
Population trend decreasing - inferred 2013-2024
Rate of change over the past 10 years/3 generations (longer of the two periods) 30-49% - - -
Rate of change over the past & future 10 years/3 generations (longer of the two periods) 30-49% - - -
Generation length 3.7 years - - -

Population justification: The global population is estimated to number 500,000-4,999,999 mature individuals (Partners in Flight 2019).

Trend justification: Once one of the most abundant parrot species in Central America, it is now heavily trapped and has disappeared locally (J. C. Cantú per R. Low in litt. 2017). While the species is almost certainly trapped across its entire range (e. g., One Earth Conservation 2016), most information is available for Mexico:
before the trapping of the species was banned in Mexico in 2008, almost 9,000 individuals were legally captured in 1998-2008 (Cantú et al. 2007). Since the ban in 2008, illegal trapping is still ongoing. According to trappers, 30-500 individuals are poached each year in the states of Sinaloa, Nayarit and Jalisco, while the population there is reported to decline (20-30% decrease in Sinaloa between 2002 and 2007, 25% decrease in Nayarit over an unspecified time, and stable trends in Jalisco) (Cantú et al. 2007). Between 1995 and 2019, 11,402 individuals were seized from illegal trade, which represents about 2% of the total number of individuals in trade (Cantú et al. 2007 and PROFEPA seizure data for 1995-2019). This means that in total c. 570,100 individuals were illegally captured in 1995-2019. Assuming that an equal number of individuals is captured every year, the annual illegal take would be c. 23,500 individuals (Cantú et al. 2007). Based on the overall population estimate and range size, the national population in Mexico is tentatively assumed to number 330,000-3,300,000 mature individuals (per A. Panjabi in litt. 2008, Partners in Flight 2019). Of these, c. 23,500 individuals were taken each year over the past three generations (11.1 years, i.e. between 2009 and 2020), which roughly equates to 15,500 mature individuals per year. This corresponds to a decline of c. 0.47-4.7% per year, i. e. 5-41% over three generations in Mexico. Available evidence suggests that the rate of illegal capturing has slowed down in recent years (J. C. Cantú in litt. 2020); therefore the true rate of decline of Orange-fronted Parakeet in Mexico may be closer to the lower end of the estimate.Trapping occurs in other range states as well (N. Herrera in litt. 2020), and and it is here tentatively assumed that population declines are similar across the entire range. The rate of past decline is therefore here placed in the band 30-49% over three generations. Data from Mexico suggests that trapping is decreasing in recent years, so rates of population decline will likely be considerably lower in the future.

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Presence Origin Resident Breeding visitor Non-breeding visitor Passage migrant
Costa Rica extant native yes
El Salvador extant native yes
Guatemala extant native yes
Honduras extant native yes
Mexico extant native yes
Nicaragua extant native yes
Puerto Rico (to USA) extant introduced

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Guatemala Atitlan
Guatemala Cuilco
Guatemala Sierra de las Minas - Motagua
Guatemala Santiaguito Volcano
Costa Rica Guanacaste lowlands
Costa Rica Nicoya Peninsula
Guatemala Lake Güija
Guatemala Monterrico - Río La Paz
El Salvador La Unión Bay
El Salvador Cinquera Forest
El Salvador El Imposible Forest
El Salvador Jucuarán Hills
El Salvador Deininger
El Salvador Jiquilisco and Jaltepeque
El Salvador La Joya
El Salvador Lake Olomega
El Salvador Río Sapo/Perquín
El Salvador San Diego and La Barra
El Salvador Conchagua Volcano
El Salvador San Miguel Volcano/El Jocotal Lagoon
El Salvador San Vicente Volcano
El Salvador Cerrón Grande
El Salvador Los Cóbanos
El Salvador The Volcans and San Marcelino
El Salvador Barra de Santiago
Nicaragua Domitila
Nicaragua Miraflor
Nicaragua Mombacho Volcano
Nicaragua Chocoyero - El Brujo - Montibelli and adjacent landscape
Nicaragua Momotombo Volcanic Complex
Nicaragua San Cristóbal-Casita-Chonco Volcanic Complex
Nicaragua Escalante River-Chococente-Tecomapa
Nicaragua Cosiguina Volcano
Nicaragua Maderas Volcano
Mexico Laguna de Chacahua - Pastoría
Mexico Laguna Pampa El Cabildo
Mexico Presa Cajón de Peñas
Mexico Tancítaro
Mexico San Juan de Camarones
Mexico La Encrucijada
Mexico El Triunfo
Mexico Sierra de Miahuatlán
Mexico Cuenca Baja del Río Papagayo
Mexico Sierra de Atoyac y Bosques de Niebla de la Costa Grande
Mexico Coalcomán - Pómaro
Mexico Marismas Nacionales
Mexico Acahuizotla - Agua del Obispo
Mexico Corredor de Barrancas de la Sierra Madre Occidental
Mexico La Sepultura
Mexico Carricitos - Cacaxtla - Río Piaxtla
Mexico Sierra de Manantlán
Mexico El Tacaná
Mexico Istmo de Tehuantepec - Mar Muerto
Mexico Quebradas de Sinaloa, Nayarit y Durango
Honduras La Botija
Honduras La Tigra
Honduras Cerro de Hula
Mexico Cerro Piedra Larga
Honduras Golfo de Fonseca
Honduras Río Nacaome
Mexico Cuenca Baja del Balsas
Honduras Guanacaure

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Plantations suitable resident
Artificial/Terrestrial Subtropical/Tropical Heavily Degraded Former Forest suitable resident
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable resident
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland suitable resident
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Swamp suitable resident
Savanna Dry suitable resident
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable resident
Altitude 0 - 1500 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops - Small-holder farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation
Agriculture & aquaculture Livestock farming & ranching - Small-holder grazing, ranching or farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Species mortality
Biological resource use Logging & wood harvesting - Unintentional effects: (subsistence/small scale) [harvest] Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - international non-trivial recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Eupsittula canicularis. Downloaded from on 03/12/2023.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 03/12/2023.