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Grey Parrot Psittacus erithacus

IUCN Red List Criteria

Critically Endangered  
Endangered  
Vulnerable A2abcd+3bcd+4abcd 

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2013 Vulnerable
2012 Vulnerable

Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency Medium
Land mass type   Average mass -

Distribution

  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 2,760,000 medium
Number of locations 11-100 -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals medium Estimated 2006
Population trend Decreasing medium -
Number of subpopulations 2-100 - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 15.5 - - -
Population justification: Gatter (1997) estimated two breeding pairs/ km2 of P. timneh in logged forest north of Zwedru, Liberia. McGowan (2001) provided similar estimates of nest densities in Nigeria of 0.5-2.1/km2, believing the higher end to be more accurate. This would indicate 4.2 breeding birds/km2 plus non-breeding birds (the remaining 70-85% of the population, as estimated by Fotso (1998b), giving estimates of 4.9-6.0 birds/km2. These estimates are substantially higher than those of 0.3-0.5 birds/km2 in good habitat in Guinea (timneh) and 0.9-2.2 birds/km2 (in evergreen forests) or 0.15-0.45 birds/km2 (in semi-deciduous forests) in Ghana. Using these density estimates, the overall P. timneh population was estimated at 120,100-259,000 birds, and the West African population of P. erithacus at 40,000-100,000 birds, although central African populations of this subspecies are much larger. Using a global land cover classification, a digitised map of the species's range from Benson et al. (1988), and estimates of density 0.15-0.45 birds/km2 in semi-deciduous forest (including deciduous forest) and 0.3-6.0 birds/km2 in evergreen forest (including swamp forest and mangrove), supplemented by post-1995 published national estimates where available, an initial coarse assessment of the global population of this species (subtracting estimates for the now-split P. timneh) is 0.56-12.7 million individuals.
Trend justification: Population declines have been noted in Burundi, Cameroon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Togo, Uganda and parts of Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In all of these declines, trapping for the wild bird trade has been implicated, with habitat loss also having significant impacts throughout West and East Africa. Data suggest that c.21 % of the wild population is being harvested annually, and in addition forest loss during 1990-2000 was estimated to be particularly high in Côte d'Ivoire (31%) and Nigeria (26%). The total number birds extracted from the wild during the period 1982 to 2001 may well have been over 1 million (A. Michels in litt. 2012), with perhaps some 100,000 birds per year being captured in Cameroon during the late 1990s and early 2000s (F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt. 2012). The rate of decline is hard to quantify, but given the massive level of capture for trade and the high levels of forest loss in parts of the range a decline of 30-49% in three generations (47 years) may be a conservative estimate.

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Angola Native Extant       Yes
Benin Introduced Extant       Yes
Burundi Native Extant       Yes
Cameroon Native Extant       Yes
Central African Republic Native Extant       Yes
Congo Native Extant       Yes
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the Native Extant       Yes
Côte d'Ivoire Native Extant       Yes
Equatorial Guinea Native Extant       Yes
Gabon Native Extant       Yes
Ghana Native Extant       Yes
Kenya Native Extant       Yes
Nigeria Native Extant       Yes
Rwanda Native Extant       Yes
São Tomé e Príncipe Native Extant       Yes
Tanzania Native Extant       Yes
Togo Introduced Extant       Yes
Uganda Native Extant       Yes

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Plantations suitable resident
Artificial/Terrestrial Rural Gardens suitable resident
Artificial/Terrestrial Urban Areas suitable resident
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable resident
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Mangrove Vegetation Above High Tide Level suitable resident
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland major resident
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane suitable resident
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Swamp major resident
Savanna Dry suitable resident
Altitude 0 - 2200 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact

Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops / Small-holder farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Decline Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals / Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 7
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Biological resource use Logging & wood harvesting / Unintentional effects: (subsistence/small scale) [harvest] Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Decline Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion

Utilisation

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Pets Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National
Pets Whole Adults and juveniles Wild International
Food (human) Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Psittacus erithacus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/09/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/09/2014.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Psittacidae (Parrots)
Species name author Linnaeus, 1758
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 2,760,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species