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Psittacula alexandri

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA AVES PSITTACIFORMES PSITTACIDAE

Scientific Name: Psittacula alexandri
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Name(s):
English Red-breasted Parakeet

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2013-11-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Baral, H., Duckworth, J.W., Fellowes, J., Inskipp, C., Laad, P., Mahood, S., Rainey, H., Robson, C., Round, P., Thompson, P. & Yong, D.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Stattersfield, A. & Taylor, J.
Justification:
This species has been uplisted from Least Concern on the basis of new information about its population trend. It is listed as Near Threatened because it is suspected to be undergoing a moderately rapid population decline owing to on-going trapping pressure, persecution and habitat loss.
History:
2012 Least Concern

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Psittacula alexandri occurs in South and South-East Asia, from northern and eastern India (including the Andaman Islands), Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh, ranging through Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and southern China (Guangxi, Guangdong and Hainan), with populations in Indonesia, on Java, Bali Karimunjawa, Kangean, Simeulue, Nias and Banyak, and in Kalimantan (where probably introduced from Java) (Juniper and Parr 1998). The species has increased since the 1990s in Singapore, where it is introduced (D. L. Yong in litt. 2011). It has been described as the commonest Psittacid in some parts of its range, although substantial declines were noted in Thailand and Laos prior to the turn of the century and local extinctions have occurred (e.g. on Java and Bali) owing to capture for the live bird trade (Juniper and Parr 1998). The species is described as being on the verge of extirpation in Hainan province, China, after being recently rediscovered there (J. Fellowes in litt. 2010). In Nepal, the species is described as localised and uncommon, having undergone significant declines in its population and range since the 1980s, with few records outside protected areas since 1990 (C. Inskipp and H. S. Baral in litt. 2013). It is thought to have been previously widespread in northern Laos, but it is said to have disappeared almost entirely from this region (J. W. Duckworth in litt. 2011). In contrast, it remains common in northern Cambodia (H. Rainey in litt. 2011), and it is said to be easily seen in the foothills and adjoining plains of the Himalayas from Uttarakhand to Arunachal Pradesh, India (P. M. Laad in litt. 2011). The species is said to be fairly common in north-eastern and south-eastern Bangladesh (P. Thompson in litt. 2012). In Vietnam, it remains by far the commonest parakeet species, although it is suspected that a decline has taken place there (S. Mahood in litt. 2011, C. Robson in litt. 2013), and it is thought to remain abundant in Myanmar (C. Robson in litt. 2013).
Countries:
Native:
Bangladesh; Bhutan; Cambodia; China; India; Indonesia; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Myanmar; Nepal; Thailand; Viet Nam
Introduced:
Hong Kong; Singapore
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 generally common (del Hoyo et al. 1997).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species uses a variety of forest and wooded habitats, including human-altered areas, usually below 2,000 m (Juniper and Parr 1998). Habitats utilised by the species include dry forest, moist deciduous secondary forest, mangroves, cultivated areas with trees and human settlements. Its diet includes wild and cultivated fruits, berries, flowers, nectar, nuts and seeds, leaves and cereals such as rice and maize, thus it frequently causes damage to crops. It nests in tree cavities and lays a clutch of 2-4 eggs. Breeding generally takes place from December to April, although almost year-round on Java (Juniper and Parr 1998).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Declines and local extinctions in recent decades have been attributed largely to capture for the live bird trade (Juniper and Parr 1998). Hunting and trapping are regarded as major threats to the species in Nepal, where it is also threatened by forest loss (C. Inskipp and H. S. Baral in litt. 2011). Its nasal voice makes the species a popular cage-bird in Nepal, and its vocal habits when breeding and tendency to form large flocks when not breeding make it susceptible to trappers. These factors drive illicit hunting and trapping in protected areas, and it is persecuted by farmers because of its crop-raiding habits (C. Inskipp and H. S. Baral in litt. 2013). Likewise in Bangladesh, the species is targeted for the cage-bird trade and is likely to be impacted by the removal of large trees (P. Thompson in litt. 2012). The species's almost total disappearance from northern Laos is thought to be driven mainly by habitat loss through conversion to agriculture (J. W. Duckworth in litt. 2011). The loss and fragmentation of forest are likely to accelerate in Cambodia in the near future, given that many large agro-industrial concessions have been granted recently (H. Rainey in litt. 2011).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
The species is listed under CITES Appendix II. It is known to occur in many protected areas, such as Chitwan National Park, Bardia National Park, Parsa Wildlife Reserve and Shukla Phanta Wildlife Reserve, Nepal (C. Inskipp and H. S. Baral in litt. 2013), and Cat Tien National Park, Vietnam (C. Robson in litt. 2013).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct regular range-wide surveys to monitor population trends. Monitor rates of habitat loss and degradation across the species's range. Quantify the level of trade and impacts of trapping. Conduct awareness-raising activities to discourage trapping. Increase the amount of suitable habitat within protected areas. Investigate potential alternative measures to mitigate the crop damage inflicted by the species.

Citation: BirdLife International 2013. Psittacula alexandri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 25 July 2014.
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