13 Jul 2010

New population of Grey-breasted Parakeet discovered in rocky outcrops in Quixadá, Ceará, in northeastern Brazil

By BirdLife Americas
A new population of the Critically Endangered Grey-breasted Parakeet (Pyrrhura griseipectus) has been found nesting in atypical habitat in the “table mountains” of Quixadá, Ceará, northeastern Brazil. The new location lies at about 80 km from the only known stronghold in the Serra do Baturité to the north. The rocky outcrops amid the vast plains of Ceará, where the nesting sites have been discovered, dominate the city of Quixada where a hen-shaped rock is a local landmark. Even though museum specimens of the species had been collected from the area over 80 years ago, the new population was only rediscovered this year. Encouragingly, flocks seen so far seem to be larger than those in Baturité. Another important factor working in the parrot’s favour is that the nesting habitat of this population is on the cliff faces where they are relatively safe from wildlife traffickers, a major threat to the species.
Grey-breasted Parakeet

Grey-breasted Parakeet is one of Brazil's 22 Critically Endangered birds

Associação Aquasis, who currently have two projects with the Preventing Extinctions Program, are preparing a short film on the species to raise awareness of the parrot’s plight, both regionally and nationally. They are also implementing artificial nesting boxes in the Serra do Baturité, which has produced a knock-on effect among the local community of voluntarily surrendering captive parakeets and informing the police of illegal traders. See the full article in Portuguese here Photos: Ciro Albano;