Agapornis fischeri


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Agapornis fischeri
Species Authority: Reichenow, 1887
Common Name(s):
English Fischer's Lovebird
French Perruche de Fischer, Inséparable de Fischer
Spanish Inseparable de Fischer

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): Baker, N.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Starkey, M., Robertson, P., Evans, M., O'Brien, A., Taylor, J.
This species is listed as Near Threatened because it has experienced a moderately rapid population reduction in its restricted range owing to trapping for export. Although this has been halted, it could re-start, and any evidence of a greater population decline could qualify the species for a higher threat category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Agapornis fischeri is endemic to north-central Tanzania, where its historical range includes 14 locations, including three national parks (Morton and Bhatia 1992). Records from Rwanda, Burundi and Kenya apparently refer to feral birds and not to wild populations (Morton and Bhatia 1992). It was very common in the past but, since the 1970s there has been a major population decline, caused principally by widespread trapping for the wild bird trade, with large flocks perhaps still occurring only around Ndutu and the Serengeti National Park (Morton and Bhatia 1992, Moyer 1995).
A self-supporting feral population derived from escapes from captivity exists in south-eastern France, where A. personatus has also escaped with hybrids also observed (Jiguet 2007).

Tanzania, United Republic of
Burundi; Kenya; Rwanda; Spain
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population has been estimated at 290,205-1,002,210 birds.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It inhabits semi-arid woodland with Acacia, Adansonia, and Commiphora at 1,100-2,200 m, deforested grassland, cultivation with remnant Adansonia and Borassus palm savanna (Morton and Bhatia 1992, Moyer 1995, del Hoyo et al. 1997). In the Serengeti, it is present in all types of woodland (del Hoyo et al. 1997). Riverine forest dominated by Ficus, Ziziphus, Tamarindus, Aphania, Garcinia and Eckbergia is an important dry season habitat. The species is mostly granivorous, taking seeds from seedheads and off the ground. It also takes Acacia seeds directly from trees. It attends waterholes and other types of surface water daily to drink. Breeding takes place from January to April and in June and July. Most nests are situated 2-15 m above the ground in holes and cracks in dead trees or dead branches on living trees, but possibly sometimes in cliffs as well. Its clutch-size in captivity is three to eight eggs, with an incubation period of c.23 days and fledging period of 38 days (del Hoyo et al. 1997).

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It was the most commonly traded wild bird in the world in 1987 and was the most popular wild-caught parrot imported into the then European Economic Community, accounting for c.80% of the Psittacine exports from Tanzania (RSPB 1991). Legal trapping for export has now been halted, but the population is still much lower than it was, and trade could re-start (Moyer 1995). The species has hybridised with Yellow-collared Lovebird A. personata in the wild, but not within the species's natural range (there is range overlap but A. fischeri appears to be a non-breeding visitor to A. personata habitat [N. Baker in litt. 1999, Morton and Bhatia 1992]) so this is unlikely to pose a threat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Carry out surveys to obtain an up-to-date population estimate. Monitor population trends through regular surveys. Prevent trapping for export from starting again. Investigate the extent of hybridisation with A. personata.

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Agapornis fischeri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 04 September 2015.
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