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Red-fronted Parrotlet Touit costaricensis
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species is listed as Vulnerable because clearance and fragmentation of forest at middle elevations, mainly in the Central Mountains and Tilarán Mountains of Costa Rica, are likely to be causing significant declines in its small range and (presumably) population.

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.

17.5 cm. Bright green parrot with bright red forehead to mid-crown, lores and area below eye. Bronze tinge to nape. Yellowish throat. Red leading edge of wing and wing-coverts. Dusky flight feathers edged green. Paler green below. Green, square tail edged yellow on outer rectrices and narrow black apical band. Red restricted in female. Voice Harsh and high-pitched tuiiit calls.

Distribution and population
Touit costaricensis occurs on the Caribbean slope and locally on upper Pacific slopes of Costa Rica and west Panama (Ridgely and Gwynne 1989, Stiles and Skutch 1989). It is known from middle to high elevations in the Tilarán, Central Volcanic and Talamanca Mountain ranges in Costa Rica and south to Santa Clara, above Boquete, Cocoplum, Isla Popa and from both slopes in the Fortuna area, Panama (Ridgely and Gwynne 1989, Stiles and Skutch 1989, G. R. Angehr in litt. 1998). There are few records from south-eastern lowlands in Costa Rica or Panama, but it occurs continuously along the Cordillera de Talamanca (mainly on the Caribbean slope) (Stiles and Skutch 1989). In Panama, there is an outlying sight record from El Copé, Coclé, in 1986 (Ridgely and Gwynne 1989). It is evidently uncommon and local, but perhaps somewhat overlooked, especially in the poorly known south of its range (Ridgely and Gwynne 1989, Stiles and Skutch 1989). The breeding population in the Important Bird Areas of Costa Rica is estimated at 1,000-4,000 mature individuals (J. Criado in litt. 2007, J. Sanchez et al. in litt. 2007).

Population justification
The breeding population in the Important Bird Areas of Costa Rica is estimated at 1,000-4,000 mature individuals (J. Craido et al. in litt. 2007, J. Sanchez et al. in litt. 2007), thus the total population is expected to fall within the range 2,500-9,999 mature individuals. This equates to 3,750-14,999 individuals in total, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.

Trend justification
The species's population is suspected to be declining at a moderate rate, in line with the continued clearance of its forest habitat in the northern part of its range.

It probably breeds in the dry season in very wet montane forest at elevations of 700-1500 m (J. Sanchez et al. in litt. 2007). The species is a daily altitudinal migrant (J. Criado in litt. 2007). Outside the breeding season it is also recorded in highlands up to 3,000 m (Stiles and Skutch 1989). It may occasionally occur in lowland humid forest at 200-500 m and rarely to sea-level especially in south-eastern Costa Rica (Stiles and Skutch 1989). It is occasionally found in patchy secondary growth, and feeds on fruits from trees and epiphytes, including melastomes, ericads such as Cavendishia, and Clusia (Stiles and Skutch 1989).

The level of habitat fragmentation in the species's range is judged to be moderate (J. Criado in litt. 2007). The widespread destruction of its foothill and highland forests is primarily the result of burning, small-scale logging operations and other conversion for intensive agricultural use (Dinerstein et al. 1995, G. R. Angehr in litt. 2007, J. Sanchez et al. in litt. 2007). In Panama, deforestation is also taking place for urban and tourism development in highlands (G. R. Angehr in litt. 2007). Virtually all remaining highland forest in Costa Rica is confined to existing protected areas (Stiles and Skutch 1989). This species does not depend on lowland forests (J. Criado in litt. 2007), but widespread forest clearance in south-eastern Costa Rica is likely to be affecting this species in the wet season (F. G. Stiles in litt. 1999). There are no reports of captive birds and it is apparently not traded (Collar 1997a).

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. It occurs in several protected areas, notably Braulio Carrillo, Tapantí-Cerro de la Muerte National Parks and Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve, Costa Rica, and La Amistad International Park and adjacent reserves in both countries. However, legal protection of Palo Seco Protection Forest (a large reserve in Panama adjacent to La Amistad) has not prevented clearance for agriculture (Angehr and Jordán 1998). Conservation Actions Proposed
Evaluate the importance of habitats outside breeding season (J. Criado in litt. 2007, J. Sanchez et al. in litt. 2007). Conduct surveys to determine its total population size. Study the species's ecology (J. Sanchez et al. in litt. 2007). Monitor population trends through regular surveys. Monitor rates of forest loss and recovery (J. Sanchez et al. in litt. 2007). Effectively protect Palo Seco Protection Forest.

Angehr, G. R.; Jordan, O. 1998. Report on the Panama Important Bird Areas program. Panama Audubon Society/BirdLife International, Ancon, Panamá.

Collar, N. J. 1997. Psittacidae (Parrots). In: del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. (ed.), Handbook of the birds of the world, pp. 280-477. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Dinerstein, E.; Olson, D. M.; Graham, D. J.; Webster, A. L.; Primm, S. A.; Bookbinder, M. P.; Ledec, G. 1995. A conservation assesssment of the terrestrial ecoregions of Latin America and the Caribbean. World Bank, Washington, D.C.

IUCN. 1992. Protected areas of the world: a review of national systems. International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, U.K.

Ridgely, R. S.; Gwynne, J. A. 1989. A guide to the birds of Panama with Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Honduras. Princeton University Press, Princeton.

Stiles, F.G. and Skutch, A.F. 1989. A Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY.

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., Capper, D., Sharpe, C J, Stuart, T., Taylor, J.

Angehr, G., Biamonte, E., Criado, J., Garrigues, R., Sandoval, L., Stiles, F., Sánchez, C., Sánchez, J., Zook, J.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Touit costaricensis. 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.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Psittacidae (Parrots)
Species name author (Cory, 1913)
Population size 2500-9999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 10,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species