Overview

Brief Summary

The Grey-headed Lovebird (Agapornis canus) is native to Madagascar, but has been introduced to the Comoro Islands, Réunion, Rodrigues, and the Seychelles. These birds are generally encountered in flocks of 5 to 30 or more individuals, in flight or feeding (mainly on grass seeds) on the ground. They are generally common in Madagascar (at least in more open country in coastal regions) and in the Comoros, but are present in only small numbers in Réunion and Rodrigues and have a limited distribution in the Seychelles. There are many Grey-headed Lovebirds in captivity as well.

(Collar 1997 and references therein; Juniper and Parr 1998 and references therein)

  • Collar, N.J. 1997. Genus Agapornis. P. 409-411 in: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., and Sargatal, J., eds. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 4. Sandgrouse to Cuckoos. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
  • Juniper, T. and M. Parr. 1998. Parrots: A Guide to Parrots of the World. Yale University Press, New Haven, Connecticut.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Agapornis canus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S. & Symes, A.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
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Population

Population
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is reported to be generally widespread and common (del Hoyo et al. 1997).

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Major Threats
The species has been heavily traded: since 1981 when it was listed on CITES Appendix II, 107,829 wild-caught individuals have been recorded in international trade (UNEP-WCMC CITES Trade Database, January 2005).
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Conservation Actions Underway
The species is listed under CITES Appendix II.
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Wikipedia

Grey-headed lovebird

The grey-headed lovebird or Madagascar lovebird (Agapornis cana) is a small species of parrot of the lovebird genus. It is a mainly green parrot. The species is sexually dimorphic and only the adult male has grey on its upper body. They are native on the island of Madagascar and are the only lovebird species which are not native on the African continent. They are the smallest of the lovebird species. It is rarely seen in aviculture and it is difficult to breed in captivity.[2]

Description[edit]

Male at Beale Park, England

The grey-headed lovebird is one of the smallest species of the lovebird genus, being 13 cm (5 inches) long and weighing about 30–36 grams. Its beak and feet are pale grey. The species is sexually dimorphic: the adult female is entirely green, with a dark green back and wings, a bright green rump, and a paler green chest; the adult male are similarly colored, except that their entire head and upper chest are a pale grey.[2]

Behaviour[edit]

Illustration of a pair

Grey-headed lovebirds are strong fliers, and when open, their wings seem larger in relation to their bodies than those of the peach-faced lovebird. They can develop good speed quite quickly and effortlessly, and turn smoothly, though they are not as nimble in the air as the peach-faced lovebirds.

Aviculture[edit]

Grey-headed lovebirds were first imported for European aviculture in the second half of the nineteenth century. When imports were permitted and they were available to aviculture in large numbers, little effort was put into breeding. They prefer to breed in the autumn, and because they have poor tolerance for cold weather breeding in aviculture is generally unsuccessful. They tend to be nervous and easily frightened in an aviary.[2]

It is quite rare in captivity, with only a very few breeders having successfully reproduced more than one or two generations. This, and the fact that even hand-fed birds remain too shy and nervous to make good pets, are clear reasons for any captive Madagascars to be given a chance to breed, rather than being kept as pets.

Grey-headed lovebirds prefer finch and canary seed over the sunflower/safflower mixes that most other lovebirds eat.

References[edit]

  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Agapornis canus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 16 July 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c Le Breton, Kenny. Lovebirds...getting started. USA: T.F.H. Publications. pp. 88–89. ISBN 0-86622-411-4. 
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