Dr. Rowan Martin

Dr. Kate Carstens

Dr. Nathaniel Annorbah

Past co-ordination committee (2014-2018): Dr. Rowan Martin, Dr. Nathaniel Annorbah, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Craig Symes

In 2014 a review of research and conservation priorities for the ‘larger’ parrot species of Africa and Madagascar (Genera: Coracopsis, Poicephalus , Psittacula, Psittacus) was published (Martin et al. 2014). A sister publication covering the ‘smaller’ parrots (Genus: Agapornis) is planned.

Martin, R.O., Perrin M.R., Boyes R.S., Abebe Y.D., Annorbah N.D., Asamoah A., Bizimana D., Bobo K.S., Bunbury N., Brouwer J., Diop M.S., Ewnetu M., Fotso R.C., Garteh J., Hall P., Holbech L.H., Madindou I.R., Maisels F., Mokoko J., Mulwa R., Reuleaux A., Symes C., Tamungang S., Taylor S., Valle S., Waltert M. and Wondafrash M. 2014. Research and conservation of the larger parrots of Africa and Madagascar: a review of knowledge gaps and opportunities. Ostrich, 85(3), 205–233.

Goals for 2018-2022:

(1) Develop discussions from the side-meeting of the PRG Africa region at the 14th Pan African Ornithological Congress, over ways to facilitate the collection of distributional data on African parrots as well as collect samples (blood, faecal, feathers) to enable research in a variety of fields, including population genetics, disease and wildlife forensics

(2) work towards coordinating a topical symposium at the Pan African Ornithological Congress in 2020 in Zimbabwe

(3) promote coordination among research and conservation groups working on parrots in the region, through the development of conservation action plans, or working groups for particular species or issues (e.g. trade in wild parrots)

(4) ensure that scientific and grey literature on African parrots is disseminated through the group and available through the virtual library

(5) complete an updated review of conservation and research priorities for lovebirds in Africa (a sister publication to the review on larger parrots of the African region)

The Pan African Ornithological Congress was scheduled to take place in November 2020 at Victoria Falls and hosted by BirdLife Zimbabwe. On behalf of the (then) IOU Working Group on Psittaciformes we submitted a proposal for a symposium on “Recent advances in the conservation and ecology of African parrots” which was accepted. The symposium aims “to bring together researchers working in a range of fields and regions to highlight and explore the latest research in parrot ecology and conservation across the continent”. Due to Covid-19, the event organisers have had to postpone the conference but we hope the conference (and the symposium) will happen towards the end of 2021. There is more info on the conference website here. We’ll keep people updated but anyone interested in participating in this symposium please get in touch with us.

Another of our stated goals for the region is to promote coordination among research and conservation groups working on parrots in the region, through the development of conservation action plans, or working groups for particular species or issues. In September last year, two of the coordinators for the Africa region helped organise the Cape Parrot and Mistbelt Habitat Action Plan workshop held in Hogsback, South Africa. This workshop was facilitated by the IUCN’s Conservation Planning Specialist Group, and brought together nearly 50 stakeholders from 23 governmental departments, NPOs, NGOs, institutions, and businesses. The outcome was a detailed conservation action plan for the species and its habitat. For those interested in reading it, the report can be found here. The next step is the transformation of the Action Plan into a Biodiversity Management Plan to be gazetted and monitored by the South African department of Environment, Fisheries and Forestry.

Without going into too much detail at this early stage, there are several collaborative research projects on the horizon. We’re very keen to initiate discussions around any of these as well as other ideas for collaborative projects and potentially initiate working groups to take these forward. However we’d like to hold off until decisions have been made on how to Parrot Researcher’s Group have been completed.

An African country-by-country assessment of the trade in African Grey parrots,

  1. A summary of the recent development and changes of the red data classification to African psittacines, and recent research trends (updating on some of the trends since the previous review was published)

  2. A review of Research and conservation of the lovebirds of Africa and Indian Ocean Islands: a review of knowledge gaps and opportunities. Complementing the review produced for the larger parrots in Africa which focused on the Poicephalus, Psittacus, Psittacula and Coracopsis spp.

  3. Thanks everyone and we look forward to communicating with all of you more on these research projects in the near future.

contact Section Coordinator for information on joining