email a friend
printable version
Indigo-winged Parrot Hapalopsittaca fuertesi
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information
BirdLife Species Champion Become a BirdLife Preventing Extinctions Programme Supporter
BirdLife Species Guardian Fundación ProAves
For information about BirdLife Species Champions and Species Guardians visit the BirdLife Preventing Extinctions Programme.

This species has an extremely small range and population which has until recently been declining. These factors result in its classification as Critically Endangered.

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: #

24 cm. Chunky, mainly green parrot. Orange-red frontal bar, yellow forecrown and face, blue rear crown and nape. Green upperparts and wings with red shoulder and carpal, some blue in secondary coverts and dark bluish primaries. Yellow-olive breast, variable red central belly-patch, rest of underparts green. Red tail with violet tip. Immature has less yellow streaking and duller face. Similar spp. H. amazonina velezi has more red on head, yellow streaking on sides of head and green hindneck concolourous with mantle. Voice Flight call a gull-like disyllabic reh-enk.

Distribution and population
This species has a highly restricted range on the west slope of the Central Andes of Colombia near the border of Quindío, Risaralda and Tolima. Until 2002 it was known with certainty only from the type-series collected at Laguneta and Santa Isabel in 1911. The species was rediscovered by Fundación ProAves in montane forest in Génova municipality, Quindío Department, where the largest group observed consisted of 25 birds and the total population was approximately 60 individuals. Recent searches in apparently suitable habitat surrounding Acaime have not been successful (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, 2008, B. López-Lanús in litt. 2000). In July 2002, the first confirmed sighting was made in the central Andes, close to Los Nevados National Park, when 14 birds were located in a small area of forest (Parr and Gilardi 2002). The population has increased to 160 individuals thanks to conservation efforts which have resulted in 87% hatching success and 95% fledging success amongst breeding birds in the Central Cordillera (Anon. 2006).

Population justification
The global population decline has apparently slowed thanks to ongoing conservation efforts with the population estimated at 160 individuals placed in the band 50-249 mature individuals.

Trend justification
Current trends for this species are poorly known. It has evidently declined in the past but thanks to co-ordinated conservation efforts at the species's stronghold this decline has slowed and may have ceased. With this information in mind, an overall decline of 1-9% is estimated to have occurred over the last ten years.

This is a poorly-known inhabitant of cloud-forest at elevations of 2,610-3,600 m, but mostly 3,300-3,500 m. The species is restricted to mature montane cloud forest with a high occurrence of mistletoe (berries are a key food source of the species). Studies since 2003 have gathered extensive information on the species's breeding and feeding ecology, with the nesting period taking place from January to May. The average clutch size is three eggs. Incubation is conducted solely by the female, although post-hatching care is biparental (Díaz 2006).

Clearance of forest in the region of the type-locality was already extensive in 1911, and very little habitat now remains. The species remains highly threatened by forest loss for cattle pasture and selective logging of mature trees (vital for nesting) for timber and firewood. A large gold reserve was discovered close to a key population, however, the threat of deforestation was mitigated by a group of conservation organisations who purchased the area of critical habitat which is now a reserve (Anon. 2012). Most mature trees with natural cavities have been selectively logged, creating a shortage of natural nesting sites.

Conservation and Research Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. A series of reserves, known collectively as the Threatened Parrot Corridor, now protects approximately 70% of the species's population (more than 7,285 ha of key habitat) (Anon. 2012). It is protected in Acaime and Cañon del Quindío Natural Reserves. An area of 631 ha of core habitat was recently acquired by Fundación ProAves with the support of Fundación Loro Parque, American Bird Conservancy and IUCN Netherlands and will be managed as Loro Coroniazul Bird Reserve: surrounding municipality land is also being managed for the species (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, 2008). Another protected area, the Giles-Fuertesi Bird Reserve located in Cajamarca, was recently created with the support of Fundación Loro Parque and comprises nearly 300 ha at 3,200-3,700 m, including areas of cloud-forest (Anon. 2010, ABC 2012). This reserve will become a centre for research focussed on this species, including studies into its habitat use, behaviour and reproduction (Anon. 2010).

The Threatened Parrots of the Cordillera Central project has been working with local communities to restore degraded forest habitats and protect existing habitat (Anon. 2014a). Nest-boxes have been very successful at allowing high breeding success (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, 2008, Tovar Martínez 2009), and 20 were installed in the new Giles-Fuertesi Bird Reserve in January 2010 (Anon. 2010). However, they are generally being used by Golden-plumed Parakeet Leptosittaca branickii to an increasing extent, thus additional boxes are being constructed to reduce competition (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999, 2008). In June 2014, however, a breeding pair were recorded using an artificial nest box in El Mirador Bird Reserve (Anon. 2014b). A Species Conservation Plan was established in early 2008, and since 2005 the ProAves 'Parrot Bus' has been raising awareness through environmental education programmes in rural communities of the central Andes. An annual Fuertes's Parrot Festival has also been established in Génova (Anon. 2014a). There are no known individuals in captivity.

Conservation and Research Actions Proposed
Investigate the possibility that it occurs near Santa Isabel in Los Nevados National Park and the adjacent Navarco Nature Reserve. Research its ecological requirements to enable effective management of remaining habitat. Ensure the effective management of Alto Quindío Acaime Natural Reserve (Snyder et al. 2000) and El Mirador Municipality Nature Reserve. Acquire private properties with core breeding population and protect the species from expanding pasturelands. Work with local communities in raising awareness and avoid possible trade of the species. Increase provision of nest boxes. Continue monitoring the population. Acquire and reforest pastureland with native trees.

ABC. 2012. Colombian reserve to double in size, aiding critically endangered parrot. Available at:

Anon. 2006. Notes on the reproduction of Fuertes's Parrot and the Golden-plumed Parakeet. Cyanopsitta: 4-5.

Anon. 2012. Conservation support for Colombia's threatened parrots: the good results continue. Cyanopsitta 101: 17-19.

Anon. 2014a. One of the rarest parrots in the world, the Fuertes Parrot occupy artificial nests. Fundación ProAves Available at: (Accessed: 23/06/2015).

Anon. 2014a. Threatened parrots of the Cordillera Central project. Cyanopsitta 104: 32.

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.

Díaz, V. A. 2006. Biología comportamiento de la Cotorra Coroniazul (Hapalopsittaca fuertesi) en el departamento del Quindío. Conservación Colombiana: 111-122.

IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: (Accessed: 19 November 2015).

Parr, M.; Gilardi, J. 2002. "Missing" South American parrot rediscovered after 90 years, photographed for the first time. PsittaScene 52: 18.

Quevedo-Gil, A. 2006. Plan de accion nacional para los loros amenazados de Colombia: una iniciativa para garantizar la conservación de nuestros loros. Conservación Colombiana: 9-20.

Snyder, N.; McGowan, P.; Gilardi, J.; Grajal, A. 2000. Parrots: status survey and conservation action plan 2000-2004. International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

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)

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

Species Guardian Action Update

Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Bird, J., Butchart, S., Calvert, R., Capper, D., Isherwood, I., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A., Taylor, J. & Ashpole, J

López-Lanús, B. & Salaman, P.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Hapalopsittaca fuertesi. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016.

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 - Fuertes’s parrot (Hapalopsittaca fuertesi) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Critically Endangered
Family Psittacidae (Parrots)
Species name author (Chapman, 1912)
Population size 50-249 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 100 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species