This species is classified as Endangered because the known population of mature individuals is extremely small; however, intensive conservation action has stabilised its current range and resulted in a population increase. If the number of mature individuals continues to increase the species may be downlisted in the future.
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: http://www.museum.lsu.edu/~Remsen/SACCBaseline.html.
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.
Stotz, D. F.; Fitzpatrick, J. W.; Parker, T. A.; Moskovits, D. K. 1996. Neotropical birds: ecology and conservation. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
Distribution and populationOgnorhynchus icterotis
42 cm. Macaw-like, yellow-and-green parrot. Green with large yellow ear-patches and frontal band, green throat and predominantly yellow underparts. Dark, heavy bill. Similar spp. Red-fronted Parakeet Aratinga wagleri is smaller and lacks yellow on the head. Golden-plumed Parakeet Leptosittaca branickii has much less yellow on sides of head and a smaller, paler bill. Voice Disyllabic, goose-like calls.
formerly occurred in all three Andean ranges of Colombia
, from Norte de Santander and Antioquia to Nariño and in north-western Ecuador
, south to Cotopaxi. It persists in the Central Andes of Colombia (Krabbe 1998, López-Lanús et al
. 1998, Salaman et al
. 1999a), although its whereabouts for much of the year are unknown (Krabbe and Sornoza 1996, Salaman et al
. 1999a). Once common to abundant, it is now potentially extinct in Ecuador (M. Sanchez in litt. 2013): although there have been unconfirmed reports of flocks of c.20 individuals in the Intag valley since 2000 (O. Jahn in litt. 2007), searches in 2008 in the last confirmed strongholds in Imbabura and Carchi failed to find the species (Anon. 2010). When re-discovered in Colombia in 1999 there were estimated to be only 81 birds, but intensive conservation actions have since seen the population dramatically recover. In 2004, the population reached a peak of 660 individuals (Salaman et al. 2006), although the population declined in 2005 and 2006 to 554 birds, thought to be caused by individuals leaving to start satellite populations which subsequently failed to establish. However, the population has continued to increase since, and in 2009 was recorded at over 1,000 individuals, with three separate breeding populations on the slopes of the Western, Central and Eastern Cordilleras. New locations have recently been reported, e.g. Apia, Tatamá and San Pedro de los Milagros (O. Cortes in litt. 2013, T. Donegan in litt. 2013, J. P. Lopez O. in litt. 2013); however, many of these observations are likely to be of recent colonisers and fly-overs by dispersing birds (T. Donegan in litt. 2013). A population at San Luis de Cubarral is estimated at c.84 individuals and is thought to have been in the area for over 30 years, based on the observations of local villagers (A. Murcia Nova in litt. 2013). Although breeding success is good, the species's breeding requirements and highly fragmented habitat will continue to challenge its recovery (Fundación ProAves in litt. 2010).
The current population is thought to comprise 1,103 individuals. However, a maximum of only 212 individuals have bred in recent years (Fundacion ProAves in litt. 2010), hence this figure is used for the current population of mature individuals. The rest of the population is precautionarily assumed to be too young to breed.
Due to intensive conservation action the population has increased from 81 individuals to 1,103 individuals in 2009, of which 212 are mature (Fundación ProAves in litt. 2010).
It inhabits humid montane forest, elfin forest and partially cleared terrain at 1,200-3,400 m, favouring areas dominated by wax palms Ceroxylon quindiuense, in which it roosts, nests and feeds (Juniper and Parr 1998, Krabbe 1998, Salaman et al. 1999a, P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999). Although currently resident at one site (López-Lanús et al. 1998, Salaman et al. 1999b), other flocks wander seasonally in search of food (bark, buds and fruiting/seeding blooms of Ceroxylon, Citharexylon, Podocarpus and Sapium spp., as well as a variety of fern species) (Krabbe 1998, Salaman et al. 1999b, P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, Arosa et al. 2009). The population at San Luis de Cubarral depends on the palm Dictyocaryum lamakcianum, as well as wax palms, and remains in the area year-round (Murcia Nova et al. 2009, A. Murcia Nova in litt. 2013). Two breeding cycles in April-November were noted at one colony (Juniper and Parr 1998, Salaman et al. 1999b). Breeding pairs enlist the help of 'brood-helpers' during the chick-rearing stage (Salaman 2001). Its ecology is discussed in further detail by Salaman et al. (2006).