Thirty-two species of parrot are restricted to the Andes and the temperate zone of Patagonia, South America. Fifteen species are considered threatened, mainly as a result of habitat destruction through deforestation but also by capture for trade. Priorities for conservation need to be determined and this requires a knowledge of species distributions and population status. Information concerning five of the 12 most threatened species is provided and the Yellow-eared parrot Ognorhynchus icterotis, which is considered the top priority for conservation, is discussed more fully. For parrots of the Andean region, conservation through in situ programmes is the best approach.