Fundación ProAves – por las aves y su hábitat en Colombia

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Threatened Parrots

31 January, 2011

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Yellow-eared Parrot

(Ognorhynchus icterotis)

The Psittacidae family is one of the bird families most threatened in the world. In Colombia it is represented by 53 species; 21% of them are included in an endangered category due to the destruction of their habitat and the exploitation of these birds for commercial purposes.

There are currently two species considered to be severely endangered -Yellow-eared Parrot Ognorhynchus icterotis and Fuerte’s Parrot Hapalopsittaca fuertesi; two in danger -Great Green Mackaw Ara ambiguus and Santa Marta Parakeet Pyrrhura viridicata– and seven vulnerable – Military Macaw Ara militaris, Golden-plumed Parakeet Leptosittaca branickii, Brown-breasted Parakeet Pyrrhura calliptera, Rufous-fronted Parakeet Bolborhynchus ferrugineifrons, Spot-winged Parrotlet Touit stictopterus, Saffron-headed parrot Gypopsitta pyrilia and Rusty-faced Parrot Hapalopsittaca amazonina.

Fuerte’s Parrot
(Hapalopsittaca fuertesi)

To alleviate this situation ProAves began in 1999 the Yellow-eared Parrot Project after rediscovering this endangered species considered to be extinct up to then. Afterwards it was created the Threatened Parrots Project with the objective of working towards the preservation of the threatened parrot species in Colombia.

Within this programme we have developed different research projects like the “Threatened Parrots in the Central Mountain Range Project” and the “Pyrrhura Project” both aimed at evaluating threats and directing the preservation efforts involving the local communities as much as possible. One of the main achievements of this Programme was the rediscovery of the Hapalopsittaca fuertesi colony, also considered to be an extinct species after 90 years of lack of records.

Up to now more than 60 studies have been concluded regarding 9 of the 11 species of threatened parrots. This has led to a recompilation of very important data such as their diet, distribution, reproductive biology, use of their habitat and demography among others. Moreover, expeditions have been organized in search of new colonies of parrots and for the first time there have been registers of the Hapalopsittaca amazonina in the Western Mountain Range of Colombia and of the Pyrrhura caeruleiceps in the Santander region.

Santa Marta Parakeet (Pyrrhura viridicata) 

Moreover, to contribute to the preservation of the existent parrot colonies we have implemented two specific strategies, namely, the Artificial Nest Programme and the establishment of 8 Natural Bird Reserves with more than 10.000 hectares dedicated to the protection and recovery of the parrot’s habitat. The civil society has also dedicated 2,600 hectares of woods, in particular within the municipality of Jardín and other neighbouring communities, to the preservation of the parrots through the Reserves linked to the Civil Society Network of Nature Reserves.

The numerous achievements of this programme are the result of the hard work made by the ProAves team that have cooperated with the local communities and many national and international institutions that also support the preservation process for this species.

Vulnerable species threat status:


Military Macaw(Ara militaris), Rusty-faced Parrot (Hapalopsittaca amazonina),

Golden-plumed Parakeet (Leptosittaca branickii) y Brown-breasted Parakeet (Pyrrhura callipetra).


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First conservation workshop for parrots of Colombia
Wednesday 17 March 2010.

From 1st to 6th March, was held the first Workshop of population monitoring techniques and management of artificial nests for endangered Andean parrots of Colombia. It was attended by 20 people from different parts of the country.



Conservation plan on threatened parrots
Friday 5 February 2010.

On 15 January, the workshop successfully developed Plan for the conservation of threatened parrots of Colombia from 2010 to 2020 which was attended by representatives of 11 organizations and local communities, ornithologists and conservationists.




Threatened Parrot Action Plan being developed
Tuesday 12 January 2010.

Parrot experts and conservation groups are working with ProAves to develop a ten-year conservation Action Plan for threatened parrot species in Colombia. A workshop will be held on January 15 at the headquarters of ProAves to discuss the plan.




New insight into Endangered species
Tuesday 26 August 2008.

ProAves has published the first videos inside the nests of the Yellow-eared Parrot and Fuertes’s Parrot from its Threatened Parrots program supported by Fundación Loro Parque.