Polytelis alexandrae


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Polytelis alexandrae
Species Authority: Gould, 1863
Common Name(s):
English Princess Parrot, Alexandra's Parrot, Princess Of Wales Parakeet
Spanish Perico Princesa

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Joseph, L. & Burbidge, A.H.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Garnett, S., Benstead, P., Taylor, J.
This species is classified as Near Threatened because it has a small population. Although all mature individuals may occur as a single widespread subpopulation, it is thought to be experiencing moderate fluctuations at present, rather than an overall decline, and thus a higher level of threat category is not justified.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Polytelis alexandrae is found in the central and western arid zone of Australia. At most sites, it appears at intervals of more than 20 years, but around Lake Tobin, Western Australia, birds were seen regularly through the 1990s, although less frequently since 2000. This may indicate that it is a core area from which birds move to central highlands during droughts in the western deserts. The Great Victoria Desert might contain a second core area. Large-scale movements and sporadic appearances outside the western deserts make it difficult to determine whether there has been any change in distribution or numbers. The decline in the numbers of records from the periphery of its range after 1950, however, suggests a contraction in range. All recent records, except from near Lake Tobin, have been of small parties and little breeding. This species has always been scarce; however, an apparent reduction in sighting frequency from the eastern part of its range since the early 19th century suggests that there has been a decline in density over 50% of its range. Although its population is thought to number c.5,000 mature individuals, this is not a reliable estimate.
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Its population is thought to number c.5,000 mature individuals, although this has little reliability. This equates to c.7,500 individuals in total.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: They are usually seen in swales between sand dunes, where they feed on a variety of seeds, as well as flowers, fruits and foliage of shrubs and trees.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It may be affected by a wide range of habitat changes including increased water availability on the periphery of its range (possibly favouring water-dependent taxa), altered fire regimes, introduction of predators such as cats and red foxes Vulpes vulpes, and introduction of herbivores such as sheep, rabbits and camels. Altered fire regimes with a coarser mosaic of fire history and introduced herbivores may have degraded habitat and reduced the abundance of food.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Study the ecology of species near Lake Tobin or the Great Victoria Desert to determine the likely constraints on population size. Follow up sightings to characterise habitat and model habitat requirements and response to fire history and rainfall from across the species's range. Use information from research to develop a management strategy. Protect any areas where the species is recorded breeding.

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Polytelis alexandrae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 01 September 2015.
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