Senegal Parrot Poicephalus senegalus


Justification of Red List Category
This species has an extremely 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). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to 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.

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

Trend justification
The lack of studies and information on population status across the range of the species precludes a detailed appraisal of trends. The species is heavily traded, and trade figures show that large numbers of individuals are being removed from the wild. Between 1985 and 2014, over 800,000 individuals were exported from Africa; this figure likely does not reflect the full extent of trade in the species, as illegal and domestic trade will not have been fully incorporated (Martin 2018). Concern has been expressed that the species is in decline, as population reductions in parts of its range have been reported (Martin et al. 2014).

Distribution and population

This species occurs through the savanna woodland belt of West Africa, north of the rainforest belt from Mauritania through to south-western Chad, north-eastern Cameroon, and northern Central African Republic. The species undertakes seasonal movements in at least parts of its range, moving into dryer areas during the wet season.


The species occurs in lowland savanna, open woodland, isolated patches of closed-canopy woodland, agricultural land and villages (Collar and Kirwan 2019).


This species has been heavily traded. Between 1975 and 2014, over 800,000 individuals were exported from Africa (Martin 2018). It is one of the most popular avian pets, since it is regarded as a small, quiet bird that bonds well. In 1981, it was placed in CITES Appendix II alongside all Psittaciformes, and a "cautious" export quota for Senegal was set in 1995 (CITES 2006). Following this, and an EU ban on the import of wild-caught birds, reported figures in trade have dropped (Martin et al. 2014). Trade volumes remain high, however, and between 2005 and 2014, over 70,000 individuals were exported from Africa (Martin 2018). The impact of this level of trade on the status of the species has not been determined.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway

The species is listed under CITES Appendix II.

Conservation Actions Proposed

Determine current and historical distribution. Assess levels of domestic and illegal international trade. Research population impact of trade.


Text account compilers
Stattersfield, A., Ekstrom, J., Pilgrim, J., Smith, D., Butchart, S.

Brouwer, J., Dowsett, R.J., Dowsett-Lemaire, F. & Martin, R.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Poicephalus senegalus. Downloaded from on 22/01/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 22/01/2021.