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Research and conservation of the larger parrots of Africa and Madagascar: a review of knowledge gaps and opportunities

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Parrot populations in Africa and Madagascar are declining and the need for conservation actions to address threats is increasingly recognised. Effective conservation requires a robust knowledge base on which decisions over appropriate actions can be made, yet at present there is no current and readily accessible synthesis of the status of populations, the threats they face and knowledge gaps. Here we begin to address this shortfall for the larger species in the region belonging to the genera Coracopsis, Poicephalus, Psittacus and Psittacula. We review developments since the production of the IUCN Parrot Action Plan published in 2000, identify areas where critical knowledge is lacking and highlight opportunities to address them. While advances have been made over the last decade, progress has not been evenly spread, with a strong bias towards populations in southern Africa. To date much research has focused on describing aspects of ecology and behaviour and there remains a need for studies determining the current status of populations and the factors limiting distributions and abundance. This review aims to provide a basis upon which progress towards an improved understanding of the conservation needs of the larger parrots of Africa and Madagascar can be made.
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Keywords: Coracopsis; Poicephalus; Psittacula; Psittacus; conservation priorities; conservation status

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, DST/NRF Centre of Excellence, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa 2: Research Centre for African Parrot Conservation, School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa 3: Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 4: Division of Biology and Conservation Ecology, School of Science and the Environment, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK 5: Environmental Sustainability Project, United Nations Development Programme, Adabraka, Accra 6: Association Burundaise pour la protection des Oiseaux, Bujumbura, Burundi 7: Department of Forestry, Faculty of Agronomy and Agricultural Sciences, University of Dschang, Dschang, Cameroon 8: Seychelles Islands Foundation, Victoria, Mahé, Seychelles 9: Niger Bird Database, Bennekom, The Netherlands 10: AfriWet Consultants, Thiaroye, Dakar, Senegal 11: Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 12: Wildlife Conservation Society, Cameroon Programme, Messa, Yaounde, Cameroon 13: Society for the Conservation of Nature of Liberia, Monrovia, Liberia 14: AP Leventis Ornithological Research Institute, Amurum, Jos Plateau State, Nigeria 15: Department of Animal Biology and Conservation Science, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana 16: Ornithology Section, Zoology Department, National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya 17: Global Conservation Program, Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx, New York, USA 18: Wildlife Conservation Society, Congo Programme, Brazzaville, Republic of Congo 19: School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa 20: Wildlife Ecology and Management Group, Department of Biology, University of Dschang, Dschang, Cameroon 21: School of Science, Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand 22: Conservation Biology/Workgroup on Endangered Species, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany

Publication date: September 2, 2014

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