The Black-cheeked Lovebird (Agapornis nigrigenis) is found in southern Zambia and, formerly, extreme northern Zimbabwe at Victoria Falls. The Black-cheeked Lovebird is sometimes treated as conspecific with the Nyasa Lovebird (A. lilianae, from which it is separated by 100 to 150 km of unsuitable habitat) and occasionally even with the Fischer's and Yellow-collared Lovebirds (A. fischeri and A. personatus).This species is found in specific types of medium-altitude deciduous woodlands, usually close to a reliable water source for daily drinking. Due in part to its extremely restricted range (perhaps only 6000 square km), this species is considered to be endangered.
(Collar 1997 and references therein; Juniper and Parr 1998 and references therein)
Habitat and Ecology
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
CITES Appendix II. Trapping of birds for trade is now banned (T. Dodman in litt. 2000) although a number of captive populations still exist and flourish. In Zambia, a trade ban on wild-caught birds was implemented in 1930 (Warburton and Perrin 2005d). Approximately 35% of its habitat lies within Kafue National Park and surrounding Game Management Areas (P. Leonard in litt. 1999, T. Dodman in litt. 2000), whilst most of its core range is included within the Machile and Kafue National Park IBAs (Leonard 2005). Detailed research programmes on this species were underway in the 1990s (Dodman 1995b, Warburton 1999a, b, Dodman et al. 2000, T. Dodman in litt. 2000) from which reports have been published. An education project focusing on the species was conducted in south-west Zambia in September 2001, involving local schools, villagers and Zambia Wildlife Authority scouts (Warburton 2003). Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct regular (e.g. monthly) counts at selected sites (such as water sources in the dry season) to monitor its population, concentrating on the core distribution(Dodman 1995c, Dodman et al. 2000, Warburton 2003, Warburton and Perrin 2005d). Conduct annual monitoring in areas such as the mid-Machile and Sichifulo rivers and the Mabiya pools region of south Kafue National Park and monitor the availability of surface water in the dry season (Warburton and Perrin 2005d). Investigate its status in the eastern Caprivi (Dodman (1995c, Dodman et al. 2000). Encourage its return to former range areas, initially through piloting the provision of undisturbed water sources and strips of sorghum and millet(Warburton 1999b). Continue a programme of environmental education involving school-visits and meetings with farming communities (Dodman 1995c, Dodman et al. 2000, Warburton 2003) to reduce trapping and disturbance at water sources (Warburton and Perrin 2005d). Provide training in ornithology and conservation for potential local bird guides and hold meetings with villagers on the protection of resources such as trees and water (Dodman 1995c). Maintain and create water resources with minimal disturbance (Warburton 2003). Continue to enforce the trade ban on wild-caught birds of this species (Warburton 2003, Warburton and Perrin 2005d) and further develop captive breeding programmes. Investigate the effect of burning on the availability of grass seeds (Warburton and Perrin 2005b). Manage water sources to encourage use by the species, and assess the impact of pumped boreholes on surface water supplies (Warburton and Perrin 2005d). Identify a selection of reasonably accessible sites where visitors can go to see the species, and ensure options for revenue generation through ecotourism, in collaboration with BirdWatch Zambia (T. Dodman in litt. 2012).
The black-cheeked lovebird (Agapornis nigrigenis) is a small parrot species of the lovebird genus. It is mainly green and has a brown head, red beak, and white eyerings. It is endemic in a relatively small range in southwest Zambia, where it is vulnerable to habitat loss.
The black-cheeked lovebird is 14 cm (5.5 in) in length, with mostly green plumage, reddish-brown forehead and forecrown, brownish-black cheeks and throat, orange bib below the throat which fades to yellowish-green, white eye-rings and grey feet. Adult have bright red beaks, while juveniles of the species are similar but with a more orange bill. Vocalizations are loud, piercing shrieks, which are very similar to those of other lovebirds.
Distribution and habitat
The black-cheeked lovebird inhabits deciduous woodland, where permanent supplies of surface water exist, as it needs daily access to water. In the dry season, these birds may congregate in large flocks of up to 800 or more.
The black-cheeked lovebird is relatively easy to breed in aviculture, but there was little interest in breeding them during the first half of the twentieth century at a time when imports were numerous. Now they are uncommon in aviculture and uncommon as pets.
- BirdLife International (2013). "Agapornis nigrigenis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- Le Breton, Kenny. Lovebirds...getting started. USA: T.F.H. Publications. pp. 97–98. ISBN 0-86622-411-4.
- Birds of Africa south of the Sahara, Ian Sinclair and Peter Ryan (2003) Struik ISBN 1-86872-857-9
- "Species factsheet: Agapornis nigrigenis". BirdLife International (2008). Retrieved 9 July 2008.
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