This discussion was first published as part of the 2013 Red List update, but remains open for comment to enable reassessment in 2015.
Mexican Parrotlet Forpus cyanopygius is restricted to Western Mexico. It is currently listed as Least Concern because it was not thought to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under any of the IUCN Red List criteria. It was thought to have a very large range with an Extent of Occurrence (EOO) of 115,000km2 and so did not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criteria. The population was suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats and so the species did not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). Partners in Flight estimated the population to number fewer than 50,000 individuals (A. Panjabi in litt. 2008), placed in the band 20,000-49,999 individuals, and thus, it did not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure).
However, a recent study by Marin-Togo et al. (2012) estimated the current distribution of this species along the Pacific coast of Mexico as 41,793km2; a 61.4% reduction of the estimated original distribution. Also, due to its northern distribution close to the US border and along one of the main routes for the illegal parrot trade, it is described as the second most captured parrot species in Mexico, with approximately 8,000 individuals captured illegally/year (Cantu et al. 2007). This may have impacted the current distributions of this species, creating areas where the species is no longer present even though suitable habitat remains (Marin-Togo et al. 2012). For this species, 80.3% primary habitat was estimated in areas where the species was no longer recorded, suggesting that the reduction in current distribution is caused by factors other than habitat loss, such as capture for trade (Marin-Togo et al. 2012).
If there is sufficient evidence to suggest that the population of this species has reduced at a rate approaching 30% over three generations (12 years in this species), based on actual or potential levels of exploitation and/or a decline in area of occupancy, extent of occurrence, and/or quality of habitat, this species would warrant uplisting to Near Threatened under criteria A2cd+3cd+4cd. If this rate is ≥30%, it would warrant uplisting to Vulnerable. If there is evidence to suggest that the global population of this species now approaches 10,000 mature individuals, and it is suffering a continuing decline approaching 10% in three generations (up to 100 years in the future), it would qualify as Near Threatened under criteria C1 of the IUCN Red List.
Further information is requested on the population size, trends and distribution of this species. Additional comments on the proposed uplisting are also welcome.
Cantu, J. C., Sanchez, M. E., Grosslet, M. and Silva, J. (2007) The illegal parrot trade in Mexico: a comprehensive assessment. Defenders of wildlife/Teyeliz. http://www.defenders.org/mexicanparrot.
Marin-Togo, M. C., Monterrubio-Rico, T. C., Renton, K., Rubio-Rocha, Y., Macias-Caballero, C., Ortega-Rodriguez, J. M. and Cancino-Murillo, R. (2012) Reduced current distribution of Psittacidae on the Mexican Pacific coast: potential impacts of habitat loss and capture for trade. Biodiversity Conservation 21: 451-473.