Red-fronted macaw -- 红额金刚鹦鹉 (Ara rubrogenys)

Pair of red-fronted macaws perched on branch
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Red-fronted macaw fact file

Red-fronted macaw description

GenusAra (1)

This medium-sized macaw is bright green in colour with an orange-red forehead and crown, and a small patch of red behind the eye. The shoulders and thighs are also orange, the primary feathers of the wing are blue and the tail is olive-green tipped with blue (2) (4). Males and females are similar in appearance, and juveniles lack the orange-red colouration seen in adults (4). The voice of this parrot is fairly musical. High pitched growls and harsher squeaks are also produced (2).

Also known as
red-cheeked macaw.
Guacamayo de Cochabamba, Guacamayo Frentirroja.
Length: 55 - 60 cm (2)

Red-fronted macaw biology

The red-fronted macaw feeds on seeds and fruit, but they often feed on crops including maize and ground nuts, as natural food is often very scarce. It roosts and nests on steep riverside cliffs. Eggs are typically laid from November to April, and most pairs tend to successfully rear one young each year (2).


Red-fronted macaw range

Endemic to Bolivia, South America, on the east Andean slope (5). The population is very small and is declining (2).


Red-fronted macaw habitat

Found in subtropical thorny scrub at 1,100-2,500 m (2).


Red-fronted macaw status

Classified as Endangered (EN C2a) on the IUCN Red List 2003 (1), and listed on Appendix I of CITES (3).

IUCN Red List species status – Endangered


Red-fronted macaw threats

The reasons for the drastic decline of this species include widespread habitat loss and degradation, largely as a result of conversion to agriculture but also caused by logging and collection of firewood. This species is illegally trapped for the pet trade, but the scale of this problem is unclear. Furthermore, as the natural food sources of this bird are lost it has to rely more on crops and it becomes increasingly exposed to persecution as a result (2).


Red-fronted macaw conservation

The red-fronted macaw is listed under Appendix I and II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and so international trade in this species is tightly controlled (3). Within Bolivia, the capture, transport and export of this species are illegal. This macaw occurs in just one protected area, but just eight birds are known to breed within this park. Birdlife Bolivia initiated a conservation programme for this species in 2002, which incorporates surveying and monitoring of the species, identifying priority areas of habitat for the species, and establishing a community awareness programme in the area. Other proposed measures include the complete elimination of trade in this bird and fencing-off areas of suitable habitat to reduce grazing by livestock, allowing the natural vegetation to make a come-back (2).

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.

Find out more

For more information see:
BirdLife International 2003 Birdlife’s online World Bird Database: the site for bird conservation Version 2.0. Cambridge, UK: BirdLife International. Available:



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A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.


  1. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2003 (March 2004)
  2. BirdLife International 2003 Birdlife’s online World Bird Database: the site for bird conservation. Version 2.0. Cambridge, UK: BirdLife International (March 2004).
  3. CITES (January, 2014)
  4. Erritzoe, J. (1993) The birds of CITES and how to identify them. The Lutterworth Press, Cambridge.
  5. Bird Bolivia Project details (March 2004)

Image credit

Pair of red-fronted macaws perched on branch  
Pair of red-fronted macaws perched on branch

© Ron Hoff

Ron Hoff
United States of America


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