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Rhynchopsitta terrisi

Maroon-fronted Parrot

  • Order: Psittaciformes
  • Family: Psittacidae
  • Monotypic

Authors: Ruth, Janet M., Thomas S. Schulenberg, and Chelsea Kendrick


Conservation status

The IUCN Red List status of Maroon-fronted Parrot is Endangered (BirdLife International 2014) due to its small population (a population of 1,000-2,499 mature individuals and a distribution of only 1,300 km2 according to BirdLife International 2014). It is considered Endangered under Mexican law (NOM-059 SEMARNAT 2010). Maroon-fronted Parrot also is considered a species at greatest risk of extinction by Partners in Flight (Berlanga et al. 2010). Based on determinations of habitat loss, Berlanga et al. (2010) estimated that 15-49% of its population has been lost in Mexico during the last century.

Effects of human activity on populations

Maroon-fronted Parrot faces heightened risk because of its specialization on threatened Mexican pine-oak forest habitats. The primary threats to this species are continued logging of large-diameter trees, catastrophic wildfire, and lack of regeneration of pine seedlings due to heavy grazing by goats. Habitat loss also results in the loss of food resources that are already spatially and temporally patchy, making successful foraging more energetically costly (Collar 1996). Reduced rainfall associated with climate change may result in increased wildfires which will negatively affect nesting habitat and nesting activity of Maroon-fronted Parrots (Ortiz-Maciel et al. 2014). Maroon-fronted Parrots are also highly dependent on free-flowing water on a daily basis (Snyder et al. 2000) and would be threatened by loss of such flowing surface water either due to human management activities or climate change. In addition, the importance of two main nesting colonies for the entire population’s productivity and long-term persistence emphasize the potential threats posed by stochastic, catastrophic events that might destroy those key colonies (Ortiz-Maciel et al. 2014).

A conservation plan has been put into effect protecting roughly 15 km2 of land through contracts with private land owners and communally owned lands (R. Valdes-Pena et al. 2007, 2010). Since 2006, locals have participated in the restoration of areas affected by fire, wildlife monitoring, and preventing soil erosion (Ortiz Maciel and Valdes-Pena 2006).



Recommended Citation

Ruth, Janet M., Thomas S. Schulenberg, and Chelsea Kendrick. 2015. Maroon-fronted Parrot (Rhynchopsitta terrisi), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: