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Grey-cheeked Parakeet Brotogeris pyrrhoptera
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This species qualifies as Endangered because it has been affected by very rapid rates of population decline caused by trapping for the cagebird trade, plus habitat loss. Future population declines are projected to be slower, but still a serious cause for concern.

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 (2002b).

Brotogeris pyrrhopterus BirdLife International (2000), Brotogeris pyrrhopterus BirdLife International (2004), Brotogeris pyrrhopterus Collar and Andrew (1988), Brotogeris pyrrhopterus Collar et al. (1994), Brotogeris pyrrhopterus Stotz et al. (1996), Brotogeris pyrrhopterus Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993)

20 cm. Largely green parakeet with bluish crown, pale grey cheeks, bluish primary coverts, orange underwing-coverts. Large pale bill. Immature has green crown. Similar spp. Noticeably smaller than sympatric parrots, except tiny Pacific Parrotlet Forpus coelestis, which is much smaller and shorter tailed. Voice Flight call a trilling stleeet stleeet. When perched a grating stteeet stteeet.

Distribution and population
Brotogeris pyrrhoptera occurs in south-west Ecuador and extreme north-west Peru, from the río Chone valley, Manabí, south to El Oro and Loja, Ecuador, and Tumbes and Piura in Peru. The largest populations are in coastal Manabí and Guayas, and on the Ecuador-Peru border (Juniper and Parr 1998). A population decrease during the 20th century became marked in the early 1980s (Best et al. 1995, Juniper and Parr 1998), with 59,320 birds reportedly imported by CITES countries in 1983-1988. In 1995, the wild population was estimated at 15,000 birds, principally in Ecuador (Best et al. 1995). This represents a very crude decline of c.70% in 10 years, although it is still locally common in suitable habitat remnants (Juniper and Parr 1998). Transect counts in Cerros de Amotape National Park and Tumbes National Reserve revealed a decline of 33.2% between 1992 and 2008 (Anon. 2009).

Population justification
Best et al. (1995).

Trend justification
A very rapid population decline is suspected to have taken place over the last 10 years, on the basis of continued illegal trapping for the bird trade together with habitat destruction and fragmentation, and persecution. The rate of decline is expected to be slower over the next 10 years.

The species is most numerous in deciduous forest dominated by Ceiba trichistandra, but it also occurs in humid evergreen forest, dry forest, arid Acacia-dominated scrub and semi-open agricultural areas (Best et al. 1995, M. R. Rosales in litt. 2012), and probably only sporadically in heavily degraded areas (Juniper and Parr 1998). It usually occurs in pairs or small flocks, foraging for flowers, seeds, fruit and catkins (Best 1992), with Ceiba fruit apparently preferred (Pople et al. 1997). Small flocks have also been recorded taking bananas and maize (Best et al. 1995, Juniper and Parr 1998). Breeding has been noted between February and August, but most breeding occurs between August and November, at least in Peru (M. R. Rosales in litt. 2012).

The illegal cage-bird trade and habitat loss are the principal threats (Rosales and Obando 2011). Numbers imported by CITES countries represent an absolute minimum of those in international trade, and exclude internal trade. Natural habitats are being rapidly destroyed through agricultural conversion, logging and grazing by goats and cattle, which prevents forest regeneration and seriously threatens deciduous forests (Pople et al. 1997). Persecution as a crop-pest may also be significant (Best 1992), and the species apparently suffered from poaching pressure in the late 1990s (Rosales et al. 2010, Rosales and Obando 2011).

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II and CMS Appendix I. International trade is banned in both Ecuador and Peru (Juniper and Parr 1998). It occurs in several protected areas, of which Cerro Blanco Protection Forest, Ecuador, and Tumbes National Reserve and Cerros de Amotape National Park, Peru, are particularly important breeding sites (Best 1992, Parker et al. 1995, Pople et al. 1997, Rosales and Obando 2011). Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys and other research to determine population size and distribution (Best 1992, M. R. Rosales in litt. 2012). Determine its habitat requirements and ecology, especially the timing of the breeding season. Monitor rates of forest loss within its range (M. R. Rosales in litt. 2012). Enforce strict trade bans, coupled with conservation education programmes (Best 1992). Support alternative livelihood initiatives for local people, in order to discourage poaching and trapping. Protect and manage key sites within its range (M. R. Rosales in litt. 2012) and further develop captive breeding populations.

Anon. 2009. Action to conserve the Grey-cheecked Parakeet. Cyanopsitta: 16-17.

Berg, K. S. 1994. New and interesting records of birds from a dry forest reserve in south-west Ecuador. Cotinga: 14-19.

Best, B. J. 1992. The threatened forests of south-west Ecuador. Biosphere Publications, Leeds, U.K.

Best, B. J.; Krabbe, N.; Clarke, C. T.; Best, A. L. 1995. Red-masked Parakeet Aratinga erythrogenys and Grey-cheeked Parakeet Brotogeris pyrrhoptrus: two threatened parrots from Tumbesian Ecuador and Peru? Bird Conservation International 5: 233-250.

Collar, N. J.; Butchart, S. H. M. 2013. Conservation breeding and avian diversity: chances and challenges. International Zoo Yearbook.

David, N.; Gosselin, M. 2002. Gender agreement of avian species names. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 122: 14-49.

Gastaaga, M., Macleod, R., Hennessey, R. B., Ugarte Nez, J., Puse, E., Arrascue, A., Hoyos, J., Maldonado Chambi, W., Vasquez, J., Engblom, G. 2011. A study of the parrot trade in Peru and the potential importance of internal trade for threatened species. Bird Conservation International 21: 76-85.

Jiggins, C. D.; Andrade, P.; Cueva, E.; Dixon, S.; Isherwood, I.; Willis, J. 1999. The conservation of three forests in south west Ecuador: Reserva Natural El Tundo, Hacienda Jujal and Tambo Negro.

Juniper, T.; Parr, M. 1998. Parrots: a guide to the parrots of the world. Pica Press, Robertsbridge, UK.

Lowen, J. C. 1998. Notes on scarce species in Ecuador, December 1997.

Parker, T. A.; Schulenberg, T. S.; Kessler, M.; Wust, W. H. 1995. Natural history and conservation of the endemic avifauna in north-west Peru. Bird Conservation International 5: 201-231.

Pople, R. G.; Burfield, I. J.; Clay, R. P.; Cope, D. R.; Kennedy, C. P.; López Lanús, B.; Reyes, J.; Warren, B.; Yagual, E. 1997. Bird surveys and conservation status of three sites in western Ecuador: final report of Project Ortalis '96. CSB Publications, Cambridge, UK.

Rosales, M. R.; Valdivia, M.; Sobero, W. C.; Cedillo, F. 2010. Evaluación poblacional de Brotogeris pyrrhopterus “Perico Macareño” en el Perú. Servicio Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas por el Estado, Lima.

Rosales, M.; Obando, M. 2011. Evaluación poblacional de Brotogeris pyrrhopterus “Perico Macareño” en el Perú. Servicio Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas por el Estado, Lima.

Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

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

Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Isherwood, I., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A., Khwaja, N.

Horstman, E., Lloyd, H., Rosales, M.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Brotogeris pyrrhoptera. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016.

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 - Grey-cheeked parakeet (Brotogeris pyrrhoptera) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Endangered
Family Psittacidae (Parrots)
Species name author (Latham, 1801)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 9,300 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species