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 Psittacara brevipes

This taxon is Not Recognised as a species by BirdLife International.

Taxonomic source(s)
Stotz, D. F.; Fitzpatrick, J. W.; Parker, T. A.; Moskovits, D. K. 1996. Neotropical birds: ecology and conservation. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Taxonomic note
Psittacara holochlorus (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was formerly placed in the genus Aratinga and previously split into A. holochlora and A. brevipes, following Stotz et al. (1996).

31-33 cm. Plain green parakeet. Orbital skin tinged brown. Similar spp. Only parakeet on the island. Voice High-pitched, screeching krree krree. Also chirping and short kee kee kee screams.

Distribution and population
Aratinga brevipes is endemic to Socorro in the Revillagigedo Islands, Mexico. The population was estimated at 400-500 birds within c.35 km2 of suitable habitat in 1991. Numbers were considered stable and did not decline subsequently in the early 1990s (Rodríguez-Estrella 1995, Rodríguez-Estrella et al. 1996). However, there may have been some contraction in range since c.1960. Surveys from 2006 and 2007 estimated a population of c.300 individuals, suggesting a population decline from previous population estimates (J. E. Martínez-Gómez in litt. 2007).

It inhabits forests of Bumelia socorroensis, Psidium socorroensis, Guettarda insularis, Ilex socorroensis and Ficus cotinifolia at elevations of 350 m-850 m. It nests exclusively in natural cavities within B. socorroensis trees (Rodríguez-Estrella 1995), and the seeds and fruit pulp of this species comprise over 50% of the diet. The breeding season begins in November, and nests are attended by at least three individuals. After the breeding season, birds tend to form flocks of 7-40 individuals, with larger groups of 50-100 gathering in undisturbed forests on the northern slopes of the island.

The spread of erosion and, in places, the lack of forest regeneration caused by heavy sheep-grazing has presumably had a deleterious effect on the extent of suitable habitat. There may be some predation by feral cats, but the species is relatively tame and its remains have not been found in cat scats. Outbreaks of a permanent locust Schistocerca piceifrons swarm have occurred twice a year since 1994, resulting in damage to the leaves, flowers and fruit of indigenous forests, with at least 30 ha lost to defoliation so far (J. E. Martínez-Gómez in litt. 2007). Outbreaks may be favoured by the habitat degradation caused by introduced species (Song et al. 2006). The presence of an active naval base on the island and the lack of prevention measures means that the risk of rat introduction is high (B. Tershy in litt. 2007).

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. The Revillagigedo Islands were declared a Biosphere Reserve in 1994 (Stattersfield et al. 1998). A captive-breeding programme has been instigated for potential reintroduction (R. Rodríguez-Estrella in litt. 1999). The Mexican Navy has reduced the sheep population to c.300 (J. E. Martínez-Gómez in litt. 2007). Sheep eradication is planned for 2008-2009 (B. Tershy in litt. 2007). Some control of feral cats has been undertaken (B. Tershy in litt. 1998, 1999), and there are plans to eradicate cats in 2009, at the earliest (B. Tershy in litt. 2007). Reports that rats have recently colonised Socorro have proved to be unfounded (J. E. Martínez-Gómez in litt. 1999, 2000). A pilot programme of nest-box provision is to be initiated (J. E. Martínez-Gómez in litt. 2007). Conservation Actions Proposed
Monitor the population through regular surveys and support the growth of the captive-breeding programme. Eradicate sheep and cats from Socorro (B. Tershy in litt. 2007). Eradicate rabbits from adjacent Clarion Island to prevent their transportation and introduction to Socorro (B. Tershy in litt. 2007). Implement and maintain an effective invasive animal and plant introduction prevention programme with a focus on preventing rat introduction (B. Tershy in litt. 2007). Control, but do not eliminate, the locust swarm (Song et al. 2006).

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

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.

Rodríguez-Estrella, R. 1995. Nest-site characteristics of the Socorro Green Parakeet. Condor 97: 575-577.

Rodriguez-Estrella, R.; Leon de la Luz, J. L.; Breceda, A.; Castellanos, A.; Cancino, J.; Llinas, J. 1996. Status, density and habitat relationships of the endemic terrestrial birds of Socorro Island, Revillagigedo Islands, Mexico. Biological Conservation 76: 195-202.

Song, H.; Weissman, D. B.; Barrientos-Lozano, L.; Cano-Santana, Z. 2006. The Locust Island. American Entomologist 52(3): 168-181.

Stattersfield, A. J.; Crosby, M. J.; Long, A. J.; Wege, D. C. 1998. Endemic bird areas of the world: priorities for bird conservation. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

Further web sources of information
Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) species/site profile. This species has been identified as an AZE trigger due to its IUCN Red List status and limited range.

Click here for more information about the Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE)

Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Butchart, S., Capper, D., Isherwood, I., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A., Taylor, J.

Martínez-Gómez, J., Rodríguez-Estrella, R., Tershy, B.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2015) Species factsheet: Psittacara brevipes. Downloaded from on 07/07/2015. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2015) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 07/07/2015.

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.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Not Recognised
Family Psittacidae (Parrots)
Species name author (Lawrence, 1871)