White-eared Parakeet Pyrrhura leucotis


Justification of Red List Category
This species has been estimated to have a small population size, which is considered to be declining, and may occur in several small subpopulations. Therefore, it is now listed as Vulnerable.

Population justification
In the Brazilian Red List the population size was estimated at <10,000 mature individuals, with each subpopulation containing <1,000 mature individuals (MMA 2014). The population size is therefore placed in the range 2,500-9,999 mature individuals.

Trend justification
The species is suspected to be in moderately rapid decline owing to habitat loss and trapping pressure. The rate of decline is not thought to be more rapid because the species's tolerance of modified habitats is likely buffer it against the impacts of deforestation to some extent.

Distribution and population

Pyrrhura leucotis is restricted to south-eastern Brazil, from Bahia south of the Jequitinhonha river, south to Espirito Santo, including south-eastern Minas Gerais, and formerly Sao Paulo, (del Hoyo et al. 1997, Juniper and Parr 1998, Forshaw, 2006, 2010). This species is described as generally scarce, and has been extirpated from the south of its range (Forshaw 2006, 2010). It is said to be in decline owing to extensive forest clearance; it now mainly persists and is locally fairly common in a few protected but widely scattered relict populations (del Hoyo et al. 1997, Juniper and Parr 1998, Forshaw 2006).


The species inhabits the interior and edges of forest, clearings and other modified habitats such as naturally shaded cacao plantations, urban parks and gardens up to 600 m. It is reported to take seeds, fruits, berries, nuts and perhaps insects (del Hoyo et al. 1997).


Forest clearance has been extensive, affecting most of the matas de tabuleiro in Bahia and Espirito Santo. Most of the original forest cover in the species’s range was cleared over a century ago, but remnant patches (e.g. where left to shade understorey plantations) are now being rapidly cleared (del Hoyo et al. 1997). The species is fairly frequently confiscated in captivity, suggesting that this taxon is frequently harvested for trade (J. Gilardi in litt. 2010).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
It is nominally protected in parts of Bahia (Estação Veracruz private reserve, and Descobrimento, Pau Brasil and Monte Pascoal national parks) (Cordeiro 2002). Monte Pascoal faces an uncertain future as it has been invaded by Pataxó Indians who have extensively cleared their neighbouring area. Elsewhere the species is known from the Linhares-Sooretama reserves (Espirito Santo), Rio Doce State Park (Minas Gerais) and Tinguá Biological Reserve (Rio de Janeiro).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Continue monitoring this species in the field and in trade. Strengthen the protected area network within the Atlantic Forest of Brazil to conserve key sites.


23 cm. Overall a small green parakeet (conure) with blue in the wing, a red-brown rump, tail, belly and shoulder. The chest and breast are yellow and grey with pale scallops. The face is plum-red while the pileum is grey-brown with some blue on the forecrown. Similar spp Subtly different from P. griseipectus and P. pfrimeri, in coloration of the pileum and having a creamy-buff auricular patch. Has less blue on the crown than P. emma, as well as narrower buff scaling on the breast. 


Text account compilers
Westrip, J., Martin, R, Bird, J., Butchart, S., Symes, A., Taylor, J., Wheatley, H.

Gilardi, J., Boesman, P.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Pyrrhura leucotis. Downloaded from on 26/11/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 26/11/2021.