Red-faced Parrot Hapalopsittaca pyrrhops


Justification of Red List Category
This species is classified as Vulnerable because the estimated Extent of Occurrence (and hence the population size) is very small, severely fragmented and declining, probably rapidly.

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. It is described as rare to uncommon and local throughout its range. 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 on the basis of continued habitat destruction and fragmentation.

Distribution and population

Hapalopsittaca pyrrhops is confined to the east Andes in south Ecuador (Morona-Santiago, Azuay and Loja) and contiguous ranges of north-west Peru (Piura and north Cajamarca [I. Franke per J. Fjeldså in litt. 1999, J. P. O'Neill in litt. 1999, Schulenberg et al. 2007]). In Ecuador, its range has been estimated at 2,839 km2 (Krabbe et al. 1998), but this excludes areas of known and projected occurrence in Morona-Santiago and Cordillera de Cutucú Oeste. A revised estimate of suitable habitat suggests that its total range is likely to be c.9,940 km2. It is found in fewer than 15 localities in Ecuador (J. Freile in litt. 2012): La Libertad, Alto Río Palora, Cajanuma (Ridgely and Greenfield 2001), Arenales, Jimbura, Matanga (Krabbe et al. 2001), Cajas (Tinoco and Astudillo undated), Fasañán (Freile 2004), El Sauce and Selva Alegre (Jacobs & Walker 1999), Jima and Santa Rita (Chapman 1926), Torré and Huashapamba (Toyne et al. 1995), Mazán (King 1989). It is generally local and uncommon, and has declined seriously in recent years. A significant population inhabits the Cordillera de Chilla, Loja, where it was present at two of three forest patches surveyed in 1995, at densities of 88 birds/km2 and 25 birds/km2, with an estimated population of c.350 at the former (Jacobs and Walker 1999).


It inhabits very wet, upper montane cloud-forest and low, open forest and shrubby growth adjacent to the páramo, at 2,500-3,500 m. It has been reported from fragmented and degraded forest near pasture, and there is some evidence to suggest tolerance of (if not preference for) secondary habitat (Juniper and Parr 1998). It is usually solitary, or in pairs and small groups of up to five, sometimes up to 20 (Toyne and Flanagan 1997, Jacobs and Walker 1999). It nests in tree-cavities in October-January, with eggs in late November, chicks in early December, and fledglings in late January (Toyne and Flanagan 1996). Its diet includes shoots, flowers, berries and seeds (Toyne and Flanagan 1997).


Its decline is attributed to habitat destruction and fragmentation, largely through slash-and-burn conversion to agricultural small holdings (Jacobs and Walker 1999). Serious losses can be expected owing to logging and forest degradation, by burning and grazing, in Ecuador's Cordillera de Chilla, Loja, although in 1995, large areas of forest were still extant (Toyne and Flanagan 1997, Jacobs and Walker 1999).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. There are a few records from Podocarpus and Sangay National Parks (J. Freile in litt. 2012), and a small population is protected within the community-owned forest at Huashapamba, near Saraguro, Loja (Toyne and Flanagan 1997).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Direct efforts to conserve remaining cloud-forest around Saraguro. Protect forest betwen Selva Alegre and Manu in the Chilla Mountains. Prevent mining in Podocarpus National Park, and throughout the high Andean forests in the Saraguro region and Azuay province (J. Freile in litt. 2012). Survey in Peru to assess whether viable populations survive (Snyder et al. 2000). Monitor the population. Assess the extent to which the species can survive in secondary habitats.


22 cm. Largely green, bulky parrot. Red forecrown, lores, cheeks and supercilium, yellow-streaked ear-coverts. Green underparts and upperparts, red shoulder, blue secondary coverts and dark bluish primaries. Dark blue tail. Similar spp. Allopatric with other Haplopsittaca. Several sympatric Pionus are all slightly larger, with proportionally shorter tails and, in flight, wings do not reach above plane of back. Similar structure to Pionopsitta, but not sympatric since it occupies higher elevations. Voice Harsh screeching ch-ek che-ek with second note higher, also eek eek eek. Call when perched thrut.


Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Isherwood, I., Sharpe, C J, Stuart, T., Symes, A.

Freile, J., O'Neill, J., Fjeldså, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Hapalopsittaca pyrrhops. Downloaded from on 04/06/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 04/06/2020.