Considered globally Endangered by BirdLife International, the Brown-backed Parrotlet is endemic to southeast Brazil, where it has been recorded from the states of Bahia, Espírito Santo, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Paraná. Most sightings of this obviously rare species are from lower montane evergreen forest at 500–1200 m, although it occurs both higher and lower, to sea level, at least locally. Nonetheless, despite that even 19th century authors considered the Brown-backed Parrotlet to be scarce, it must be remembered that all Touit parrotlets are easily overlooked; thus, this species went unseen in Bahia for more than a century, and was only very recently confirmed to occur in the state of Paraná. The species is speculated to undertake seasonal migrations or local dispersal, in some areas possibly altitudinally. Its diet is still poorly known, and the species’ breeding scarcely at all.