Saving threatened habitats worldwide

Golden-plumed Parakeet

Golden-plumed Parakeet
Leptosittaca branickii
Class: 
Aves
Order: 
Psittaciformes
Family: 
Psittacidae
IUCN Red List status: 
Vulnerable

Description

Protected by the following WLT projects:

The Golden-plumed Parakeet is a long-tailed parakeet coloured with bright green feathers and a distinctive orange/yellow stripe under its eyes. The underside and tail although predominantly still green, show hints of yellow and red.

Goldden-plumed Parakeet
These birds were photographed on the border of the Christopher Parsons sector of the Jocotoco Foundation's Tapichalaca Reserve and the Podocarpus National Park. They were nesting in a dead Wax palm.

Habitat

Golden-plumed Parakeets only occur in fragmented habitats in montane forest on the east slope of the Andes from northern Colombia and Ecuador to Peru. The live in temperate cloud and elfin forest at 2,400-3,400m, occasionally lower. They depend on Wax palms (Ceroxylon sp.) in which they take refuge and make their nests, and are heavily dependent on Podocarpus cones for food.

Threats and Conservation

Habitat degradation and fragmentation are the two main threats causing a decline in the number of Golden-plumed Parakeets in Ecuador.

Both Wax Palms and Podocarpus trees are being lost through deforestation and this does not bode well for the future of these parakeets, outside protected areas. On Palm Sunday's high profile campaigns in Quito, supported by the church, encourage people to wave corn stalks and branches from ornamental plants instead of traditional palm fronds and the woven crosses made from Wax palm, in an attempt to alert people to the plight of the Golden-plumed Parakeet.

Another bird, the Yellow-eared parrot, also depends on the Wax palm for its survival but there have been no confirmed sightings of this species in Ecuador for many years.

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