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Timneh Parrot Psittacus timneh
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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IUCN Red List Criteria

Critically Endangered  

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2013 Vulnerable
2012 Vulnerable
2011 Under Review

Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency Medium
Land mass type   Average mass -


  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 292,000 medium
Number of locations 11-100 -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 100000-499999 poor Estimated 0
Population trend Decreasing medium -
Number of subpopulations 2-100 - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 15.5 - - -
Population justification:

Based on the estimated density of the species and P. erithacus in Ghana and Guinea, Dändliker (1992) calculated population estimates for Côte d'Ivoire (54,000-130,000 individuals), Liberia (50,000-100,000), Sierra Leone (11,000-18,000), Guinea (5,000-10,000) and Guinea-Bissau (100-1,000). These estimates have been used as the basis for setting export quotas in the past. Assuming any population in southern Mali to be insignificant, this gives a total estimate of c.120,000-259,000 individuals in 1992, which may now be lower if the species is declining rapidly. Gatter (1997) estimated significantly higher density of two breeding pairs / km2 in logged forest north of Zwedru, Liberia, however, thus the likely total population remains highly uncertain. The population is placed in the band 100,000-499,999 mature individuals in the absence of further data.

Trend justification: Population declines have been noted across the range. In all of these declines, trapping for the wild bird trade has been implicated, with habitat loss also having significant impacts. Gatter (1997) estimated c.1,400 birds smuggled from Cote d’Ivoire annually between 1981-1984, over 99% being P. timneh. In 2009 Guinea exported 720 timneh, despite having a quota of zero (Anon 2011). Legal trade as monitored by CITES may represent only a proportion of the total numbers captured from the wild, while Allport (1991) estimated that c.77% of the Upper Guinea EBA forest cover had been lost at the time of that study, and regional forest loss has continued since that date at a high rate (H. Rainey in litt. 2010). The rate of decline is hard to quantify, but given the massive level of capture for trade and the high levels of forest loss in parts of the range a decline of 30-49% in three generations (47 years) may be a conservative estimate.

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Côte d'Ivoire Native Extant       Yes
Guinea Native Extant       Yes
Guinea-Bissau Native Extant       Yes
Liberia Native Extant       Yes
Mali Native Extant       Yes
Sierra Leone Native Extant       Yes

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Plantations suitable resident
Artificial/Terrestrial Rural Gardens suitable resident
Artificial/Terrestrial Urban Areas suitable resident
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable resident
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Mangrove Vegetation Above High Tide Level suitable resident
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland major resident
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane suitable resident
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Swamp major resident
Savanna Dry suitable resident
Altitude 0 - 2200 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact

Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops / Small-holder farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Decline Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals / Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 7
Species mortality
Biological resource use Logging & wood harvesting / Unintentional effects: (subsistence/small scale) [harvest] Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 7
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion


Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Pets Whole Adults and juveniles Wild International
Pets Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National
Food (human) Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Psittacus timneh. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016.

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 Vulnerable
Family Psittacidae (Parrots)
Species name author Fraser, 1844
Population size 100000-499999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 292,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species