Biogeography of Pyrrhura in Colombia


Status – in progress

Determining the geographic distribution of Pyrrhura to identify conservation gaps


The taxonomic situation of Pyrrhura parakeets is controversial, given that subspecies of Painted Parakeet Pyrrhura picta and Marron-tailed Parakeet Pyrrhura melanura are frequently treated as valid species. This is true for P. picta subandinaP. p. pantchenkoi and P. p. caeruleiceps which are often considered as Pyrrhura subandina and Pyrrhura caeruleiceps; and for P. m. pacifica, which is occasionally treated as P. pacifica. Although some biogeographic, morphological and genetic studies maintain that these races merit the status of species, it remains to be defined and has diverted attention away from the population status of each one of these ‘races’. As is well known, conservation actions are directed at species categorized as being threatened and not at geographic races. Unfortunately, neither P. picta nor P. melanura are considered threatened, but some of their isolated populations, which constitute subspecies, are subject to diverse pressures and their status could be critical. As a first approximation to the actual state of these populations and of the Colombian species, this study aims to predict their geographic distribution with four main intentions: to demonstrate that under predictions based on past and present bioclimatic parameters, the populations of most subspecies are completely isolated and thereby are independent conservation units; to estimate potential distributions and habitat loss, to show that for various species the situation is more critical than previously considered; to identify priority areas for their protection and conservation gaps in a geographic context; to predict the status for each population under continued anthropogenic pressures and different climate change scenarios using geographic distribution models based on future bioclimatic parameters.

Key findings & achievements

KEY findings and achievements are now available HERE.


Paleoclimatic data analysis –

Documents to Download

  • Project brochure. PDF


  • Botero-Delgadillo, E., Páez, C.A. & Bayly, N. (2012) Biogeography and conservation of Andean and Trans-Andean populations of Pyrrhuraparakeets in Colombia: Modelling geographic distributions to identify independant conservation units. Bird Conservation International 22: 445-461. DOI: 10.1017/S0959270912000196.
  • Botero-Delgadillo, E., Páez, C.A. & Sanabria-Mejía, J. (2012). Discovery of two new localities for Todd’s Parakeet Pyrrhura picta caeruleiceps using species distribution models: enhancing knowledge of a little known Neotropical bird. Ardeola 59: 237-252.
  • Botero-Delgadillo, E., Verhelst, J. C. & Páez, C. A. (2012).  Distribución geográfica, tamaño poblacional y estado de conservación del Periquito de Santa Marta (Pyrrhura viridicata). Ornitología Colombiana 12: 32-46.
  • Botero-Delgadillo, E., Páez, C. A. & Bayly, N. (2011) Identificando unidades de conservación a partir de patrones biogeográficos: el género Pyrrhura como estudio de caso para el nor-occidente de Suramérica in: Sociedad de Ornitología Neotropical & Unión de Ornitólogos del Perú 2011. IX Congreso de Ornitología Neotropical, Libro de resúmenes. Sociadad de Ornitología Neotropical.
  • Botero-Delgadillo, E. & Páez, C. A. Determinando la distribución geográfica del género Pyrrhura en Colombia para identificar vacíos de conservación in: Asociación Colombiana de Zoología 2010. Creando un clima para el cambio: La biodiversidad, servicios para la humanidad. III Congreso Colombiano de Zoología, Libro de resúmenes. Asociación Colombiana de Zoología. (in Spanish) Available at: /

Publications in preparation

  • Botero-Delgadillo, E. Páez, C. A. & Bayly, N.J. (in prep) Inferring biogeographic history of Andean and Trans-Andean populations of Pyrrhura parakeets in Colombia during the Last Interglacial, Last Glacial Maximun and Mid-Holocene


Project Staff (see more)

Project Director & Researcher – Dr. Esteban Botero-Delgadillo

Scientific Advisor & Researcher – Carlos Andrés Páez

Researcher Phase II “Pyrrhura caeruleiceps Group” – Jeyson Sanabria Mejía