Species under threat

Sunday, April 24 2005 @ 06:07 AM UTC

Contributed by: MikeSchindlinger

The Cape parrot is a species endemic to South Africa and classified as critically endangered. A local artist has now helped to raise funds for the survival of the bird. There are currently fewer than 500 left in the wild. Key threats are habitat destruction, seasonal depletion of food sources, disease, low suitable nest-site availability and illegal trapping for trade. The distribution of the parrot is restricted to fragmented Afro-montane forests. Cape parrots are habitat and dietary specialists dependent on yellowwood trees.

Both the parrot and tree species are victims of illegal trade.

The Cape parrot project (CPP) of BirdLife SA was established in 2002 and has assessed the threats to the Cape parrot and prioritised the actions required.

The CPP is a representative forum which brings together a wide variety of multi-disciplinary stakeholders, with an overall vision to conserve the Cape parrot and its habitats in South Africa.

Objectives of the project include the implementation of an environmental education programme and to increase the food supply of Cape parrots by planting parrot food source trees in prioritised localities.

The CPP is currently in need of sustainable financial support and the management of BirdLife Overberg has decided to raise funds for the CPP and the conservation of the bird.

Tertia Knaap of Onrus River has kindly donated an outstanding painting of the Cape parrot, to be raffled for R10 per ticket by BirdLife SA on a national basis. A Conservation League has also been formed, through which individuals can contribute R300 - R1 200 per annum towards the conservation fund. Funds raised in this way by BirdLife Overberg will go towards the conservation of the parrot.

This is an open invitation to contact Anton (082 5503 347 or birding@overberg.co.za) to discuss the possibility of contributing towards the fund-raising efforts and thereby the conservation of this critically endangered species.