Red-faced Parrot Hapalopsittaca pyrrhops


Justification of Red List category
Although this species may have a restricted range, it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km² combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size may be moderately small to large, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Population justification
The species is described as uncommon and local (Collar and Boesman 2020). Field surveys found it to occur at a density of 25.3-88 individuals/km2 (Jacobs and Walker 1999; Santini et al. 2018). Within its range, a total of 6,310 km2 are covered by forested habitat (Global Forest Watch 2021). To account for its localised distribution, it is here precautionarily assumed that only 10% of forested habitat are occupied. The population would thus number c.15,900-55,500 individuals, which equates to c. 10,000-37,000 mature individuals.
In view of the species's localised distribution (Collar and Boesman 2020; eBird 2021) it is tentatively assumed that the species forms at least two subpopulations, the largest of which likely numbers over 1,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
The species is suspected to decline on the basis of continued habitat destruction and fragmentation. Forest loss is however low within the range; over the past three generations (12 years; Bird et al. 2020), <2% of tree cover has been lost (Global Forest Watch 2021). As the species prefers wet forest, it is conceivable that the rate of forest loss is exacerbated by additional habitat degradation. The rate of population decline is therefore tentatively placed in the band 1-9% over three generations.

Distribution and population

Hapalopsittaca pyrrhops is confined to the east Andes in south Ecuador (Cañar, Azuay, Morona-Santiago and Loja) and adjacent north-west Peru (Piura and west Cajamarca) (Ridgely and Greenfield 2001; SERFOR 2018; Collar and Boesman 2020).


It inhabits very wet, upper montane cloud-forest and low, open forest and shrubby growth adjacent to páramo, at 2,500-3,500 m (Collar and Boesman 2020). 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, individuals (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).


The species is threatened by habitat destruction, fragmentation and degradation, largely through slash-and-burn conversion to agricultural small holdings and cattle grazing (Jacobs and Walker 1999). Tree cover loss has however been very low since 2001 (<2%; Global Forest Watch 2021). Its habitat in Peru is considered secure and not at imminent risk of deforestation (SERFOR 2018).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. The species occurs in several protected areas throughout its range, including Podocarpus and Sangay National Parks, Cajas National Recreation Area and Río Mazan Reserve in Ecuador (J. Freile in litt. 2012; Collar and Boesman 2020), as well as in Tabaconas-Namballe National Sanctuary in Peru (SERFOR 2018).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Monitor the population. Survey suitable habitat in Ecuador and Peru to locate new populations. Assess the extent to which the species can survive in secondary habitats. Conserve and protect remaining cloud forest, especially near Saraguro and the Cordillera de Chilla. Prevent mining within the range.


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
Hermes, C.

Benstead, P., Fjeldså, J., Freile, J., Isherwood, I., O'Neill, J., Sharpe, C.J., Stuart, T. & Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Hapalopsittaca pyrrhops. 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.