CAPE PARROT _Poicephalus robustus_ facts

Document Sample
CAPE PARROT _Poicephalus robustus_ facts Powered By Docstoc
					CAPE PARROT (Poicephalus robustus) facts.
  Found only in South Africa. Regarded as Endangered. Virtually the whole lifestyle of these birds is centred on yellowwood trees. Their preferred feeding, roosting and nesting sites are in forests dominated by these trees. In South Africa suitable forest patches are found in the Eastern Cape and southern KwaZuluNatal with a few scattered yellowwood forest patches in Limpopo Province. Must not be confused with the Grey-headed Parrot, (Poicephalus fuscicollis suahelicus) which looks very similar to the Cape Parrot, but is found in the Northern Province, Mocambique and Zimbabwe and is now regarded as a separate species from the Cape Parrot. A mature Cape Parrot stands 30cm high and can weigh up to 350g. Like all parrots it has a robust beak that is used to crack open nuts and seeds. The favoured seed is that of the yellowwood tree and their availability greatly influences seasonal movements of these birds. They also feed on other forest trees especially the Natal plum and White stinkwood. If the indigenous food source is in short supply, the parrots are sometimes forced to feed outside forests and will raid fruit orchards or pecan nut trees. Nest in cavities usually in dead yellowwood trees. They usually lay three eggs of which one to two chicks survive the first year. Use mature yellowwood trees, which usually project out of the forest canopy, as roosting sites and vantage points. They are active and inquisitive birds that are often seen flying around and above forest patches in the early morning or late afternoon. Characteristic loud squawk is usually heard when the birds are in flight and contact calls between roosting birds may also be heard.













School of Biological and Conservation Sciences
Postal Address: Private Bag X01, Scottsville, 3209 South Africa Website: www.ukzn.ac.za Telephone: +27 (0)33 260 5104 Facsimile: +27 (0)33 260 5105 Email: SBCS@ukzn.ac.za Founding Campuses: ▀▀ Edgewood ▀▀ Howard College ▀▀ Medical School ▀▀ Pietermaritzburg ▀▀ Westville

How to Conserve Cape Parrots There are about 1000 Cape Parrots in the wild, mostly in the Eastern Cape and about 250 in KwaZulu-Natal. Recording the decline of an animal population is pointless unless that information is used to assess how that decline can be stopped. In search of food, the parrots fly substantial distances between forest patches. So to conserve the parrots we need to recognise this and maintain a network of suitable forests. Within these forests we need to enhance the food and breeding possibilities for parrots. How you can Help So what can you do as a private individual? 1. Preserve existing forest patches and provide food sources Education of land-owners and the general public as to the importance of indigenous forests is essential. To do so requires that these forests become more user-friendly to the public. This could be done with a network of forest trails, which could include aerial walkways. The planting of food trees at the forest edge and erection of nest boxes will also help. 2. Help prevent illegal trade Prevention of removal of live birds from the wild is essential. Capture from the wild is illegal. Effective law enforcement relies on rapid information transfer and those people who live within the range of the parrot, or keep captive birds, must remain on alert to any signs of capture and trade of Cape Parrots. In the Eastern Cape report to: Jaap Pienaar, Head of Special Investigations at the Eastern Cape Nature Conservation: 046 6228262/082 6923760. In Kwa-Zulu Natal, report to Sharron Hughes, Permit Officer, Kwa-Zulu Natal Wildlife: 033 8451324. Or to the Cape Parrot Working Group: Colleen Downs 033 2605127/082 9202026. 3. Take part in the count Without observers this count would not be possible. The information obtained during the count makes a valuable contribution to knowledge of Cape Parrots. It is hoped that, as in previous years, participants will volunteer for the 2007 Cape Parrot Big Birding Day to be held on the afternoon of Saturday 5 May and the morning of Sunday 6 May 2007.

The Cape Parrot Working Group This is a working group that was initiated by Prof Perrin, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg Campus. The Cape Parrot Research group at the University of KwaZulu-Natal is part of the Cape Parrot Working Group and undertakes research and investigations on the status of the threatened Cape Parrot. One of the important activities is the annual Cape Parrot Big Birding Day (CPBBD), undertaken largely by a team of volunteers, which has been held for the tenth consecutive year in May 2007. Counts are held throughout the range of this parrot. Contact person Overall Co-ordinator of CPBBD, Prof Colleen Downs, School of Biological and Conservation Sciences, University of KZN, PMB Campus, tel. 033-2605127/04, email: Downs@ukzn.ac.za All donations for Cape Parrot Research go to the University of KwaZulu-Natal, c/o Prof CT Downs


				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Stats:
views:35
posted:11/9/2009
language:English
pages:2