Matomo-Image-Tracker Psittaciformes - Pyrrhura - Sinu Conure


Sinu Conure - Pyrrhura Subandina - Critically Endangered, Functionally Extinct

The Sinú conure (Pyrrhura subandina) is considered to be part of the Pyrrhura Picta Comples. It is only known with certainty from the Sinú Valley in northern Colombia. BirdLife International estimates that if the bird is not already extinct, no more than 50 likely exist. Despite extensive searches, there have been no confirmed records of the parakeet since 1949. Scientists know very little about the Sinú parakeet's reproductive physiology, nutritional needs, ecology, or behavior. There are 18 specimens known from four locations in Colombia, two of which have been deforested. The parakeet is among the 25 “most wanted lost” species that are the focus of Global Wildlife Conservation's “Search for Lost Species” initiative.

Taxonomy and Dstribution: Traditionally, the painted parakeet included the Santarém parakeet (P. amazonum), Bonaparte's parakeet (P. lucianii) and rose-fronted parakeet (P. roseifrons) as subspecies. Following a review in 2002, it was recommended treating these as separate species. In 2006, a study based on mtDNA confirmed that the "traditional" painted parakeet was polyphyletic, as P. p. picta was closer to the taxon emma (traditionally considered a subspecies of the white-eared parakeet, P. leucotis) than it was to amazonum and roseifrons. The taxon lucianii was not sampled, but based on plumage and biogeography it likely falls between P. amazonum and P. roseifrons. In 2002 it had also been recommended treating the Azuero parakeet (P. eisenmanni), Sinú parakeet (P. subandina) and Todd's/Perijá parakeet (P. caeruleiceps) as separate species. Of these, only eisenmanni was sampled in 2006, where it, although with low bootstrap support, was found to be relatively close to P. p. picta, and arguably should be retained as a subspecies of the painted parakeet. Based on plumage and biogeography, caeruleiceps and subandina are likely also part of this group. Consequently, the South American Classification Committee voted for treating these as subspecies of the painted parakeet. The IOC has also split the Venezuelan parakeet from this species, but other authorities, including the American Ornithological Society have not followed. Following this treatment, the painted parakeet includes the following subspecies:

P. p. picta (nominate): North-eastern Brazil (north of the Amazon River and east of the lower Rio Negro/Rio Branco, though crossing west of the latter in northern Roraima), the Guianas and south-eastern Venezuela.
P. p. caeruleiceps (Todd's or Perijá parakeet): Perijá Mountains in Colombia and Venezuela, and the eastern slope of Magdalena Valley (= western slope of Cordillera Oriental) in Colombia.
P. p. subandina (Sinú parakeet): Sinú Valley in Córdoba, Colombia.
P. p. eisenmanni (Azuero parakeet): Azuero Peninsula, Panama.

Nevertheless, the possibility that some of the above are separate biological species cannot be discounted at present. It has been suggested that auricularis should be considered a synonym of emma,[6] but a recent review has suggested that auricularis is valid, and consequently it has tentatively been included here. Another taxon, pantchenkoi, has often been considered a valid subspecies or rarely even a separate species,[8] but recent opinion is that it is a synonym of caeruleiceps.

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Page last updated: 12/24/23

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