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Africa Geographic Travel

EXTRACT FROM THE FOLLOWING THIRD PARTY SOURCE: Written by: Grrl Scientist for The Guardian

The taxonomy of the Cape parrot, Poicephalus robustus robustus, has long been controversial, particularly amongst conservation biologists and policymakers. But a team of South African scientists published a study that agrees with previously published morphological, ecological, and behavioural assessments indicating that this taxon should be elevated to full species status.

A pair of wild Cape parrot, Poicephalus robustus, dine on fruits. © Colleen Downs/Willem Coetzer at al/PLoS ONE 2015
A pair of wild Cape parrot, Poicephalus robustus, dine on fruits. © Colleen Downs/Willem Coetzer at al/PLoS ONE 2015

In this study, the authors analysed genetic data from five Poicephalus parrot species and found that the Cape parrot is genetically distinct from all of its closest relatives. This taxonomic revision could facilitate better planning and implementation of international and local conservation management strategies for protecting this critically endangered parrot.

A flock of wild cape parrots, Poicephalus robustus, flies overhead. © Colleen Downs/Willem Coetzer at al/PLoS ONE 2015
A flock of wild cape parrots, Poicephalus robustus, flies overhead. © Colleen Downs/Willem Coetzer at al/PLoS ONE 2015

Read more about the Cape parrot

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