Psittacula alexandri 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Psittaciformes Psittacidae

Scientific Name: Psittacula alexandri (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Name(s):
English Red-breasted Parakeet
Taxonomic Source(s): del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Baral, H., Duckworth, J.W., Fellowes, J., Inskipp, C., Laad, P.M., Mahood, S., Rainey, H., Robson, C., Round, P., Thompson, P. & Yong, D.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Stattersfield, A., Taylor, J., Martin, R
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.
Previously published Red List assessments:

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 a local resident, frequent in Chitwan National Park and buffer zone and uncommon elsewhere. It has been recorded mainly within the network of protected areas (Inskipp et al. 2016). It is thought to have been previously widespread in northern Laos, but has disappeared largely from this region of the country; there is also strong evidence of range contraction within the south and centre (Fuchs et al. 2007; Duckworth and Timmins 2013, 2015; Timmins 2014, J. W. Duckworth in litt. 2016). 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, and is locally abundant in Cat Tien National Park, but is now patchily distributed in the country and may well have declined considerably (S. Mahood in litt. 2016, C. Robson in litt. 2016). It is thought to remain abundant in much of Myanmar (C. Robson in litt. 2013).
Countries occurrence:
Bangladesh; Bhutan; Cambodia; China; India; Indonesia; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Myanmar; Nepal; Thailand; Viet Nam
Hong Kong; Singapore
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:9400000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Continuing decline in number of locations:Yes
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
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).

Trend Justification:  The population is suspected to be in moderately rapid decline overall, owing to unsustainable levels of exploitation and on-going habitat destruction. This suspicion is supported by widespread anecdotal evidence that indicates declines in many parts of its range.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:UnknownContinuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

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). In Nepal, the species is regarded to be easiest parakeet to catch for the pet-trade because of its flocking behaviour and relatively sluggish nature (C. Inskipp and H. S. Baral. in litt. 2016).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):7.5
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

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). Throughout Laos remaining populations are eagerly sought by bird trappers, and the almost total disappearance from North Laos compared with its wide persistence in the South and Centre (albeit largely at low density and with much local extirpation) reflects the much smaller total area of suitable habitat there and its naturally fragmented layout. Habitat loss through conversion to agriculture is extensive, but large areas of suitable habitat remain with now very low population densities (Fuchs et al. 2007; Duckworth and Timmins 2013, 2015; Timmins 2014; J. W. Duckworth in litt. 2016). 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). In Nepal a detailed review of species distribution and status for the Nepal bird Red Data Book (Inskipp et al. 2016) found it to be less threatened by trapping for the cage bird trade than previously thought, although it has been recorded in bird markets (Thapa and Thakuri 2009). Outside protected areas it is threatened to some degree in Nepal by habitat loss and degradation (Inskipp et al. 2016). 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.

Amended [top]

Amended reason: Updates to the conservation actions, geographic range, habitats and ecology and threats text fields, and corresponding updates to the references.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2017. Psittacula alexandri (amended version of 2016 assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T22685505A111371703. . Downloaded on 23 September 2018.
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