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Golden-capped Parakeet Aratinga auricapillus
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species is thought to have a moderately small population which is suspected to be declining in some areas owing primarily to habitat loss. However, it seems to cope relatively well with the alteration of its habitat. It is consequently classified as Near Threatened.

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

Taxonomic note
Gender agreement of species name follows David and Gosselin (2002a).

Aratinga auricapilla Collar et al. (1994), Aratinga auricapilla BirdLife International (2000), Aratinga auricapilla Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993), Aratinga auricapilla Stotz et al. (1996), Aratinga auricapilla Collar and Andrew (1988)

30 cm. Green parakeet with orange-red belly and facial markings. Red frontlet, lores and area around eyes grading to bright orange in forecrown and bright yellow in mid-crown. Large, dull orange-red belly patch, mottled yellow. Reddish underwing-coverts. Bluish primaries with green patch. Dull bluish tail with green in base and red on central rectrices. Feathers of lower back and rump edged reddish. Blackish bill. Race aurifrons is deeper green with more extensive red on head, reduced patch on belly and no red on mantle. Voice Very strong kee-keet.

Distribution and population
Aratinga auricapillus occurs from the Recôncavo area in Bahia, south to Minas Gerais, Espirito Santo, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Goiás and Paraná, south-east Brazil. In São Paulo and Paraná, the species has only been recorded in the humid eastern forests. It has apparently vanished from Espirito Santo, and has been recently recorded from single sites in Rio de Janeiro and Paraná. Despite the loss of habitat and collecting for the pet trade, it is still locally common in Goiás, (where it occurs over most of its former distribution), Minas Gerais and Bahia. It is described as very common along the rio Grande basin (V. T. Lombardi in litt. 2011). A recent survey in Bahia found it in 18 out of 30 sites surveyed, including eight protected areas, being recorded in large groups and using secondary vegetation (Cordeiro 2002). The discovery that it is still widespread and has not declined over much of its northern range (Bahia, Minas Gerais, Goiás), and its ability to cope with habitat fragmentation suggest its status is more secure than formerly thought.

Population justification
This species's population size has not been formally estimated and in the absence of sufficient data it is preliminarily estimated to number more than 10,000 individuals, roughly equivalent to 6,700 mature individuals; however, detailed research is required.

Trend justification
The species's population is suspected to be in decline owing to continued habitat loss and some trapping for the pet trade.

It is found in both humid Atlantic coastal forest and inland transitional forests. It is largely dependent on semi-deciduous forest, but forages and breeds in forest edge, adjacent secondary growth, agricultural areas and even urban areas (V. T. Lombardi in litt. 2011). Like other Aratinga, it seems to adapt well to mosaics of forest fragments, pastures and agriculture, and in Goiás and Minas Gerais it also uses areas of cerrado (F. Olmos in litt. 2003). Pairs have been seen in November and dependent young in March (L. F. Silveira in litt. 1999), indicating breeding in the austral summer. It feeds on fruits (such as mango, papaya and orange) (L. F. Silveira in litt. 1999) and seeds (such as maize), and was formerly considered a serious pest.

There has been extensive and continuing clearance and fragmentation of suitable habitat for coffee, soybean and sugarcane plantations in São Paulo, and cattle-ranching in Goiás and Minas Gerais (Snyder et al. 2000). Trapping for trade has probably had a significant impact since it was relatively common in illegal Brazilian markets in the mid-1980s and imported in hundreds into West Germany in the early 1980s. However, the precise effect is obfuscated by high numbers of captive-bred birds, which presumably reduce pressure on remaining wild populations (L. F. Silveira in litt. 1999). Despite its tendency to occasionally nest near human habitation, it is apparently not the most favoured species for the pet trade (V. T. Lombardi in litt. 2011). There are no records of persecution in response to crop degradation.

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. It occurs in Monte Pascoal, Chapada da Diamantina, Serra da Canastra (common in the south) (Silveira 1998) and Serra do Caparaó National Parks, Rio Doce State Park and Caratinga Reserve. Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey to locate any major new populations and define the limits of its current range. Study to determine its population dynamics and dispersive capacity, and provide a detailed analysis of its habitat requirements at different sites. Ensure the protection of key reserves. Protect the species under Brazilian law.

Collar, N. J.; Gonzaga, L. P.; Krabbe, N.; Madroño Nieto, A.; Naranjo, L. G.; Parker, T. A.; Wege, D. C. 1992. Threatened birds of the Americas: the ICBP/IUCN Red Data Book. International Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge, U.K.

Cordeiro, P. H. C. 2002. A fragmentaçao da Mata Atlântica no sul da Bahia e suas implicaçoes na conservaçao dos psitacídeos. In: Galetti, M.; Pizo, M.A. (ed.), Ecologia e conservaçao de psitacídeos no Brasil, pp. 215-227. Belo Horizonte, Melopsittacus Publicaçoes Científicas.

Hayes, F. E. 1995. Status, distribution and biogeography of the birds of Paraguay. American Birding Association, Colorado Springs.

Silveira, L. F. 1998. The birds of Serra da Canastra National Park and adjacent areas, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Cotinga 10: 55-65.

Snyder, N.; McGowan, P.; Gilardi, J.; Grajal, A. 2000. Parrots: status survey and conservation action plan 2000-2004. International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Willis, E. O.; Oniki, Y. 1993. New and reconfirmed birds from the state of São Paulo, Brazil, with notes on disappearing species. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 113: 23-34.

Further web sources of information
Detailed species account from the Threatened birds of the Americas: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 1992). Please note taxonomic treatment and IUCN Red List category may have changed since publication.

Detailed species account from the Threatened birds of the Americas: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 1992). Please note, taxonomic treatment and IUCN Red List category may have changed since publication.

Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Recuento detallado de la especie tomado del libro Aves Amenazadas de las Americas, Libro Rojo de BirdLife International (BirdLife International 1992). Nota: la taxonomoía y la categoría de la Lista Roja de la UICN pudo haber cambiado desde esta publicación.

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Capper, D., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A., Taylor, J.

Lombardi, V., Olmos, F., Silveira, L., Yamashita, C.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Aratinga auricapillus. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Golden-capped parakeet (Aratinga auricapillus) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Near Threatened
Family Psittacidae (Parrots)
Species name author (Kuhl, 1820)
Population size 6700 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 67,100 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species