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Fischer's Lovebird Agapornis fischeri

Justification
This species is listed as Near Threatened because it has experienced a moderately rapid population reduction in its restricted range owing to trapping for export. Although this has been halted, it could re-start, and any evidence of a greater population decline could qualify the species for a higher threat category.

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.

Distribution and population
Agapornis fischeri is endemic to north-central Tanzania, where its historical range includes 14 locations, including three national parks (Morton and Bhatia 1992). Records from Rwanda, Burundi and Kenya apparently refer to feral birds and not to wild populations (Morton and Bhatia 1992). It was very common in the past but, since the 1970s there has been a major population decline, caused principally by widespread trapping for the wild bird trade, with large flocks perhaps still occurring only around Ndutu and the Serengeti National Park (Morton and Bhatia 1992, Moyer 1995).
A self-supporting feral population derived from escapes from captivity exists in south-eastern France, where A. personatus has also escaped with hybrids also observed (Jiguet 2007).


Population justification
The population has been estimated at 290,205-1,002,210 birds.

Trend justification
There has been a major population decline since the 1970s owing principally to widespread trapping for the wild bird trade.

Ecology
It inhabits semi-arid woodland with Acacia, Adansonia, and Commiphora at 1,100-2,200 m, deforested grassland, cultivation with remnant Adansonia and Borassus palm savanna (Morton and Bhatia 1992, Moyer 1995, del Hoyo et al. 1997). In the Serengeti, it is present in all types of woodland (del Hoyo et al. 1997). Riverine forest dominated by Ficus, Ziziphus, Tamarindus, Aphania, Garcinia and Eckbergia is an important dry season habitat. The species is mostly granivorous, taking seeds from seedheads and off the ground. It also takes Acacia seeds directly from trees. It attends waterholes and other types of surface water daily to drink. Breeding takes place from January to April and in June and July. Most nests are situated 2-15 m above the ground in holes and cracks in dead trees or dead branches on living trees, but possibly sometimes in cliffs as well. Its clutch-size in captivity is three to eight eggs, with an incubation period of c.23 days and fledging period of 38 days (del Hoyo et al. 1997).

Threats
It was the most commonly traded wild bird in the world in 1987 and was the most popular wild-caught parrot imported into the then European Economic Community, accounting for c.80% of the Psittacine exports from Tanzania (RSPB 1991). Legal trapping for export has now been halted, but the population is still much lower than it was, and trade could re-start (Moyer 1995). The species has hybridised with Yellow-collared Lovebird A. personata in the wild, but not within the species's natural range (there is range overlap but A. fischeri appears to be a non-breeding visitor to A. personata habitat [N. Baker in litt. 1999, Morton and Bhatia 1992]) so this is unlikely to pose a threat.

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. Conservation Actions Proposed
Carry out surveys to obtain an up-to-date population estimate. Monitor population trends through regular surveys. Prevent trapping for export from starting again. Investigate the extent of hybridisation with A. personata.

References
del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. 1997. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 4: Sandgrouse to Cuckoos. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Jiguet, F. 2007. En direct de la CAF: les inséperables de St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat et Beaulieu-sur-Mer, Alpes-Maritimes. Ornithos 14(6): 376-381.

Morton, K. and Bhatia, Z. 1992. Aspects of the Tanzanian wild bird trade with special reference to Fischer's lovebird. RSPB, Sandy, UK.

Moyer, D. 1995. The status of Fischer's Lovebird Agapornis fischeri in the United Republic of Tanzania. International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, Cambridge, U.K.

RSPB. 1991. The wild bird trade: investigation reports from Africa, South America and South-east Asia.

Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

View photos and videos and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Starkey, M., Robertson, P., Evans, M., O'Brien, A., Taylor, J.

Contributors
Baker, N.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Agapornis fischeri. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/10/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/10/2014.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Fischer’s lovebird (Agapornis fischeri) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Near Threatened
Family Psittacidae (Parrots)
Species name author Reichenow, 1887
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 136,000 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change