The red-fronted parrotlet is a small species of parrot native to a small range, located mostly on the Caribbean side of Central America, specifically the nations of Costa Rica and Panama. Something of a small bird, it is only around 15 to 17.5 centimeters in height. It is marked by its bright green plumage across most of its body, along with a yellowish ting to its chest and the red face and wing feathers that give the bird its name. Its tail is somewhat short by parrot standards, and is marked by yellow feathers that create a very colorful bird.
The red-fronted parrotlet tends to live in cool, wet rainforest areas, usually around 500 to 1000 meters off the ground where nest. In the dry seasons, however, these birds sometimes go as high as 3000 meters into the trees, though it is far from unheard of for them to be seen down at sea level. This bird has also been known to appear in humid lowland forests at a much lower elevation, usually around 200 to 500 meters. Its diet is quite heavy on fruits from the trees in the rainforests, as well as feeding on the epiphytes, plants that usually grow harmlessly on other plants, usually needing the support. A number of colorful species of epiphytes are found in the bird's habitat and tend to provide another major source of the species' diet. It has been described as having a harsh voice, but also makes tuiiit calls of a particularly high pitch.
The IUCN lists the red-front parrotlet as a vulnerable species as deforestation in its small range of habitats has threatened an already small population of birds. Additionally, very little is actually known about this bird due to the difficulties of studying them in their native habitat, and few specimens have been taken in by zoos. Between the dangers already posed to these birds by humans and the fact that so little is known about them, it is a poor idea to try and take one of these birds as a pet. In addition to risking the violation of laws intended to curb the illicit global trade in endangered animals, nobody really knows for sure how to take care of these birds, meaning that even the best prepared bird owner will likely kill any birds of this species simply by trying and failing to keep them as pets. No records exist of these birds as pets, and nobody seems to be trying to trade these birds, illegally or otherwise.
The main threats to this species are currently the widely spread forest clearance that is engulfing most of its natural habitat. At the moment, there are a number of nature preserves where this bird is reasonably safe. At these preserves, biologists are working to study the species, trying to get a clearer picture of how many of these birds remain (the current estimation is based heavily on guesswork) and get a better understanding of how the species lives, information that is currently lacking.
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