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Golden-tailed Parrotlet Touit surdus
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species is listed as Vulnerable because its population is small and declining rapidly owing to ongoing deforestation. It has been found to be more resilient to forest fragmentation than first thought, and it may be under-recorded rather than genuinely scarce, especially in the southern part of its range.

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).

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

16 cm. Green forest parrotlet. Bright grass-green, brighter on undersides. Yellowish area in forefront, around face and cheeks. Scaled appearance on crown and neck. Brownish scapulars forming two bands on back. Dark primaries and primary coverts with green patch at base of primaries. Short, square tail, golden-yellow tipped black, with green central rectrices. Female similar with yellowish-green sides of tail. Similar spp. Brown-backed Parrotlet T. melanonota has a dark brown back and bright red sides of tail. Pileated Parrot Pionopsitta pileata is large and male has red on forehead. Voice High-pitched, strident rattles

Distribution and population
Touit surdus occurs in north-east Brazil (Ceará, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Alagoas and Sergipe), and in the south-east from Bahia south to Rio de Janeiro (L. F. Silveira in litt. 2012). Recent surveys have found it to be one of the commonest parrot in the Atlantic Forest of Alagoas (which has been reduced to <2% of its former extent), being present in 5 out of 15 sites surveyed (L. F. Silveira et al. in litt.) and also in Murici Ecological Station (J. M. Barnett in litt. 2002). It was also recently found nesting in arboreal termitaria in forest fragments in Pernambuco (Telino et al. 2000). The species was found in 16 out of 31 surveyed areas in southern Bahia, including the private reserves Ecoparque de Una and Estação Veracruz (formerly CVRD Porto Seguro reserve), Una Biological Reserve, and Descobrimento, Pau Brasil and Monte Pascoal National Parks (Cordeiro 2002).

Population justification
The species is generally rare; its population is placed in the band 2,500-9,999 mature individuals, equating to 3,750-14,999 individuals, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.

Trend justification
A rapid and on-going population decline is suspected on the basis of continuing habitat destruction and fragmentation.

It inhabits lowland evergreen forest and adjacent lower montane slopes, mostly below 500 m, but up to 700 m in Alagoas and 1,000 m in Espírito Santo, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo (Juniper and Parr 1998, E. O. Willis and Y. Oniki in litt. 1999). Flocks have been observed moving between distant forest fragments (A. Whittaker in litt. 1999). Reported foods are fruit of Spondias lutea and Rapanea schwackeana. Breeding is unrecorded. At least in Rio de Janeiro, it may undertake seasonal movements. Recent observations suggest that this species is resilient to habitat alteration.

Extensive deforestation throughout its range is regarded as the principal cause of its rarity, and the north-east population is most threatened because sugarcane plantations have replaced virtually all lowland forest in Alagoas, leaving just 2% of original forest cover (Brown and Brown 1992) in severely fragmented blocks, averaging 1.5 km2 or less (Conservation International et al. 1995). Further south, the situation is little more encouraging: in Bahia, less than 10% of forest is intact, and in the rest of its range suitable habitat has been reduced to less than 20% of its original extent (Conservation International et al. 1995). Lowland forests were historically threatened by agricultural conversion and deforestation for mining and plantations (Fearnside 1996). Current key threats arise from urbanisation, agricultural expansion, colonisation and associated road-building (Dinerstein et al. 1995).

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II and protected under Brazilian law. It has been recorded in numerous protected areas: Pedra Talhada Biological Reserve (Alagoas), Monte Pascoal and Serra das Lontras National Parks, Una Biological Reserve and Serra Bonita private reserve (Bahia), Córrego Grande, Sooretama and Augusto Ruschi Biological Reserves (Espírito Santo), Desengano State Park and Itatiaia National Park (Rio de Janeiro).Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey historical localities and suitable habitat to clarify distribution. Research ecology and seasonal movements. Designate Murici in Alagoas as a biological reserve and ensure its de facto protection. Consolidate protected areas in which it occurs.

Brown, K. S. J.; Brown, G. G. 1992. Habitat alteration and species loss in Brazilian forests. In: Whitmore, T.C.; Sayer, J.A. (ed.), Tropical forest and extinction, pp. 119-142. Chapman and Hall, London.

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.

Conservation International; Fundação Biodiversitas; Sociedade Nordestina de Ecologia. 1995. Prioridades para conservação da biodiversidade da Mata Atlantica. Conservation International and Fundação Biodiversitas, Belo Horizonte.

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.

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. 1997. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 4: Sandgrouse to Cuckoos. 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.

Fearnside, P. 1996. Brazil. In: Harcourt, C.S.; Sayer, J.A. (ed.), The conservation atlas of tropical forests: the Americas, pp. 229-248. Simon & Schuster, New York and London.

Guix, J. C.; Martín, M.; Miquel, C.; Serra, A. 2002. Density estimates of syntopic species of parrots (Aves: Psittacidae): population status in the Paranapiacaba fragment. In: Mateos, E.; Guix, J.C.; Serra, A.; Pisciota, K. (ed.), Censuses of terrestrial vertebrates in a Brazillan Atlantic forest area: the Paranapiacaba fragment, pp. 95-110. Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona.

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

Telino-Júnior, W.R.; R.M. De Lyra-Neves & R.S. Carneiro. 2000. Observações de Touit surdus (Psittacidae) em fragmentos florestais de Pernambuco, Brasil. Melopsittacus 3(4): 159-165.

Wege, D. C.; Long, A. J. 1995. Key Areas for threatened birds in the Neotropics. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

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., Clay, R., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A.

Barnett, J., Mazar Barnett, J., Oniki, Y., Whittaker, A., Willis, E., Silveira, L.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Touit surdus. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016.

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-tailed parrotlet (Touit surdus) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Psittacidae (Parrots)
Species name author (Kuhl, 1820)
Population size 2500-9999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 32,200 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species