Blossom-headed Parakeet Psittacula roseata


Justification of Red List Category
This species has been uplisted from Least Concern because of new information about its population trend. It is listed as Near Threatened on the basis that it is undergoing a moderately rapid decline owing to habitat loss and trapping pressure.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the overall abundance appears to be much reduced across its range in recent decades (Collar and Kirwan 2017).

Trend justification
The species's population is suspected to be in moderately rapid decline owing to on-going habitat destruction and unsustainable levels of exploitation. Anecdotal observations of local trends lend support to this suspicion, for example in Cambodia at least since the 1990s (F. Goes in litt. 2013, T. Gray in litt. 2013, R. J. Timmins in litt. 2013).

Distribution and population

Psittacula roseata occurs in South and South-East Asia, ranging from eastern India and Bangladesh, through Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and southern China (Yunnan, Guangxi and Guangdong provinces) (Juniper and Parr 1998). It is mostly sedentary, with some localised seasonal movements. It has been described as generally common, but has declined in some parts of its range (Juniper and Parr 1998). It is rare in southern China (Forshaw 2006) and scarce in Vietnam (Juniper and Parr 1998). It was apparently abundant in Myanmar in c.1990, but has now declined in numbers, and it has become uncommon or rare in Thailand (del Hoyo et al. 1997, Juniper and Parr 1998, P. Round in litt. 2013). It is described as being uncommon to locally common in Cambodia (Goes 2013, T. Gray in litt. 2013), and now extremely localised and present in only small numbers in Laos (J. W. Duckworth in litt. 2013). In Bangladesh, it is described as a rare resident, scarce in the hills of the north-east and south-east of the country, with regular records of up to 50 individuals in the northern fringe of the Sundarbans (S. U. Choudhury in litt. 2016). The population is suspected to be in on-going decline overall.


This species occurs in the lowlands to c.1,500 m, inhabiting light forest, including savanna, secondary growth, forest edge, clearings and cultivated areas (Juniper and Parr 1998). It is particularly associated with dry deciduous forest throughout south-east Asia (Goes 2013, R. J. Timmins in litt. 2013); although it is occasionally observed in semi-evergreen forest, it seems to be dependent on drier habitat (Goes 2013, W. Duckworth in litt. 2016). It is able to persist in partially deforested landscapes and appears to favour forest edge near cultivation (Juniper and Parr 1998). It breeds in January-May, nesting in tree cavities and laying a clutch of usually 4-5 eggs (Juniper and Parr 1998).


This species has suffered much habitat loss (Forshaw 2006), which, in combination with capture for the cage-bird trade and general persecution as pests, have caused the species to become uncommon or rare in Thailand (del Hoyo et al. 1997, Juniper and Parr 1998) and Myanmar (Juniper and Parr 1998). International trade records showed that 836 birds were exported between 1981 and 1985, but this increased to 6,873 birds in 1986-1990, primarily from Vietnam and Thailand (del Hoyo et al. 1997). In Laos, habitat encroachment has been so severe in the lowlands that there are few areas left that are large enough for the species's nests to escape robbery, and there is little active effort to reduce this pressure (J. W. Duckworth in litt. 2013). In Cambodia, changes in land-use in the lowlands have been rapid (R. J. Timmins in litt. 2013), and the predicted conversion of dry deciduous forest for agro-industrial plantations is expected to cause a decline of 30% or more in the national population over the next 20 years (F. Goes in litt. 2013).

Conservation actions

Conservations Actions Underway
The species is known to occur in several protected areas in Cambodia (Goes 2013).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct regular range-wide surveys to track population trends. Monitor rates of habitat loss and degradation. Quantify the impact of capture for trade. List the species under CITES. Increase the area of suitable habitats that are protected, especially areas of dry deciduous forest. Carry out awareness-raising activities to discourage nest-robbing and trapping, and introduce national level legislation to prevent indiscriminate control of birds for crop protection. 


Text account compilers
Martin, R, Taylor, J., Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S.

Timmins, R.J., Prakash, S., Round, P., Choudhury, S., Duckworth, J.W., Goes, F., Krishnan, A., Vyas, V.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Psittacula roseata. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 17/11/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 17/11/2019.