Poicephalus cryptoxanthus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Poicephalus cryptoxanthus
Species Authority: (Peters, 1854)
Common Name(s):
English Brown-headed Parrot
French Perroquet à tête brune

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2012-05-03
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Harding, M. & Symes, A.
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
2012 Least Concern

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This taxon occurs as two subspecies: subspecies tanganyikae is found in south-east Kenya, Wasiri Island (Juniper and Parr 1998), Zanzibar and Pemba in eastern Tanzania (where common and widespread (N. Baker in litt. 1999)), south Malawi and Mozambique (north of the River Save); and subspecies cryptoxanthus is known from south-east Zimbabwe and Mozambique (south of the River Save) to north-east South Africa (Swaziland, Zululand and Transvaal) (del Hoyo et al. 1997, Wilkinson in litt. 1998, Juniper and Parr 1998)). The only substantial population in South Africa is estimated at 1,500-2,000 birds, and is confined to the Kruger National Park (Wilkinson in litt. 1998). However, south of the River Save in Mozambique, the population was estimated at over 20,000 individuals in the 1990s (Parker 1999) and was thought to be increasing because it exploits fruit and grain crops and nests in alien coconut trees, despite being hunted and captured for export as a cagebird (Harrison et al. 1997).
Kenya; Malawi; Mozambique; South Africa; Swaziland; Tanzania, United Republic of; Zimbabwe
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is reported to be locally common (del Hoyo et al. 1997).
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The species occurs in flocks of 4-12, sometimes up to 40 (Fry et al. 1988), in semi-arid and subhumid bush, thornveld, open wooded savanna and woodland, including areas with large baobabs or figs, riparian forest, coconut and cashew-nut plantations, smallholdings and mangroves up to 1,200 m (del Hoyo et al. 1997). It feeds on seeds such as Erythrina and Adansonia, nuts, fruits and berries (particularly figs Ficus and Pseudocadia zambesica), pods of Acacia and Albizia gummifera, nectar and green shoots of trees (del Hoyo et al. 1997). It is known to raid millet and maize crops (del Hoyo et al. 1997). It breeds April-October depending on the locality (Juniper and Parr 1998) and clutch size is 2-3 (del Hoyo et al. 1997).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species is increasingly vulnerable to habitat loss and fragmentation (Juniper and Parr 1998), with illegal capture for the bird trade of concern in Mozambique (Wilkinson in litt. 1998).

Citation: BirdLife International 2013. Poicephalus cryptoxanthus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 04 August 2015.
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