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Nicobar Parakeet Psittacula caniceps
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This species has a moderately small population occupying a very small range, in which it is under pressure from habitat modification and trapping; however, its habitat and population are not yet considered to be severely fragmented or restricted to a few locations, hence it is listed as Near Threatened. The tsunami in the Indian Ocean in 2004 may have caused a significant decline in the population. Should this be supported by empirical evidence, the species may qualify for uplisting in the future.

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
Psittacula caniceps is endemic to the Nicobar archipelago, India, where it has been recorded from Great Nicobar, Little Nicobar, Menschal and Kondul islands (BirdLife International 2001, A. P. Zaibin in litt. 2012). It apparently remains common (as indicated by surveys in 2009-2011 [A. P. Zaibin in litt. 2012]), although the effect of the large tsunami in the area in 2004 is unknown, and the species may have declined as a result of coastal forest destruction (K. Sivakumar in litt. 2007).

Population justification
The global population is thought to be moderately small because while the species remains relatively common in some areas it occupies a restricted range and hence the population is perhaps best placed in the band 10,000-19,999 individuals. This roughly equates to 6,667-13,333 mature individuals, rounded here to 1,000-15,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be decreasing as a result of habitat destruction due to the 2004 tsunami (K. Sivakumar in litt. 2007) and due to development on the island, and because of trapping for the cagebird trade. However, further research is required to accurately establish current trends.

It inhabits tall forest, feeding in small groups in the canopy on the fruit of Pandanus palms. It is perhaps more abundant in coastal forests than in the interior (K. Sivakumar in litt. 2007), and occurs up to c.190 m (A. P. Zaibin in litt. 2012). It has also been recorded in areca nut and coconut plantations (A. P. Zaibin in litt. 2012), suggesting substantial tolerance of modified habitats.

Moderately large numbers are trapped for the cage-bird trade. Furthermore, increased settlement of the islands has led to increased pressure on natural resources and planned development projects could severely affect the habitat of this species. The 2004 tsunami destroyed large tracts of coastal forest which may have caused a subsequent decrease in the population. However, data remains sparse, and the rate of regeneration of such forests is uknown (K. Sivakumar in litt. 2007).

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. Conservation Actions Proposed
Determine the impact of trade on the species. Calculate rates of forest loss. Protect remaining areas of habitat. Assess the impact of the 2004 tsunami.

BirdLife International. 2001. Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

Further web sources of information
Detailed species accounts from the Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 2001).

Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Bird, J., Calvert, R., Taylor, J.

Zaibin, A.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Psittacula caniceps. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016.

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.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Near Threatened
Family Psittacidae (Parrots)
Species name author (Blyth, 1846)
Population size 6000-15000 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 1,100 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species