None of the genus Hapalopsittaca can be described as numerous, and the Red-faced Parrot is currently considered Vulnerable. It is not found sympatrically with any congenerics, which has led some authors to propose that it might be considered conspecific with also very rare Indigo-winged Parrot (Hapalopsittaca fuertesi) and Rusty-faced Parrot (Hapalopsittaca amazonina). The present species is a largely green, and somewhat bulky-bodied parrot, characterized by its red forecrown, lores, cheeks and supercilium, yellow-streaked ear coverts, red shoulder patch, and dark blue primaries and tail. It is confined to the eastern Andes of southern Ecuador and adjacent northwest Peru, where it has recently been found at several ‘new’ localities. The species’ habitat requirements are typical of the genus as a whole, it being found in very wet, upper montane cloud forest and shrubby growth adjacent to páramo.