Justification of Red List Category
This species qualifies as Vulnerable because it occurs at few locations and has a small range in which habitat (and presumably the population) is declining.
The total population may only be a few thousand birds, and so it is placed in the band 2,500-9,999 individuals. This equates to 1,667-6,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 1,500-7,000 mature individuals.
The species is suspected to be declining slowly, on the basis of continued habitat destruction.
Pyrrhura albipectus is confined to three areas in south-east Ecuador and has recently also been found in northern Peru. In Ecuador it is known from Podocarpus National Park, Cordillera de Cutucú and Cordillera del Cóndor. Although its numbers appear relatively low, with a total population possibly of only a few thousand individuals, it is apparently common in Podocarpus National Park. There are now also confirmed records from as far south as Panguri in Zamora-Chinchipe. It has also recently been observed in the adjacent parts of the Cordillera del Cóndor, Peru with a published sighting from Mirador Cóndor in Morona-Santiago Province (Navarrete 2003). These range extensions suggest that it is not as severely threatened as formerly feared (Balchin and Toyne 1998).
This parrot inhabits upper tropical forest at 900-2,000 m. It usually occurs in flocks of 4-20 individuals, foraging in fruiting trees within primary forest or clearings. It also occurs in partially and severely degraded habitat around Podocarpus National Park (Snyder et al. 2000). Diet includes fruit, seeds and flowers, mainly taken in the canopy (Juniper and Parr 1998). A dependent juvenile was seen in September (Snyder et al. 2000).
Habitat destruction is the principal concern, as upper tropical zone forests east of the Andes are being cleared at an alarming rate. However, subtropical forests in Podocarpus National Park and Cordillera del Cóndor are largely intact (Schulenberg and Awbrey 1997, Snyder et al. 2000). Logging has been extensive at lower elevations within its range (to c.1,000-1,200 m), and is gradually encroaching on core altitudes. In the Cordillera de Cutucú, some forest has been cleared for agriculture and to secure indigenous people legal ownership of their land. Illegal gold mining and human settlement occur, even within Podocarpus National Park, particularly at its southern boundary (Snyder et al. 2000). In the Peruvian part of its range, there is little or no threat of deforestation; however, there is a mining concession in the area (F. Angulo in litt. 2012). It is trapped in small numbers for the domestic cage-bird trade (Snyder et al. 2000).
Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. Podocarpus National Park is an important site for the species's conservation. A revised management plan for the area has been devised, and a public awareness campaign highlights the importance of the park (Snyder et al. 2000). The parakeet also occurs in the Fundación Jocotoco's 3,500 ha Tapichalaca Reserve where artificial nest boxes are being used successfully (Waugh 2009). It is also found in the Ichigkat Muja - Cordillera del Cóndor National Park (F. Angulo in litt. 2012).
24 cm. Brightly coloured, boldly marked parakeet. Dusky crown with pale grey fringes on hind part, thin reddish frontal band, yellow-and-green scaled cheeks and orange ear-coverts, full white collar and yellow breast, green belly and rest of upperparts. Green wings with red primary coverts and carpal area, and bluish primaries, green tail, dull red on underside. Immature lacks frontal band and has paler ear-coverts. Voice Rapid screet screet calls in flight, chirping calls while feeding, increasing before flock takes flight.
Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Isherwood, I., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A.
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Pyrrhura albipectus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/10/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/10/2020.