del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
Melo, M.; O'Ryan, C. 2007. Genetic differentiation between Príncipe Island and mainland populations of the Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus), and implications for conservation. Molecular Ecology 16(8): 1673-1685.
Red List criteria met
Red List history
IUCN Red list criteria met and history
||not a migrant
|Land mass type
Based on the estimated density of the species and P. erithacus in Ghana and Guinea, Dändliker (1992) calculated population estimates for Côte d'Ivoire (54,000-130,000 individuals), Liberia (50,000-100,000), Sierra Leone (11,000-18,000), Guinea (5,000-10,000) and Guinea-Bissau (100-1,000). These estimates have been used as the basis for setting export quotas in the past. This gave a total estimate of c.120,000-259,000 individuals in 1992.
However, this is likely to have been an overestimate and the population may now be lower if the species is declining rapidly (R. Martin in litt. 2016). Gatter (1997) estimated a significantly higher density of 2 breeding pairs per km2 in logged forest north of Zwedru, Liberia. More recent estimates place the Liberian population at around 18,000 individuals (Freeman et al. 2018).
A status assessment for the population in Guinea-Bissau indicates a national population of 250-1000 individuals, with very low population densities (or an absence) everywhere in that country, with the exception of small (<8 km2) islands remote from permanent human habitation (Lopes 2015; Lopes et al. 2018a). A survey in 2018 in the Gola Rainforest National Park in Sierra Leone recorded the species at an encounter rate of 0.1 groups/h in the National Park and 0.3 in the buffer zone, indicating densities of around 1-3 individuals per km2 and a population within the park itself of around 2.400 individuals (Valle et al. 2020).
However, the likely total population remains highly uncertain. The population is placed in the band 100,000-499,999 mature individuals in the absence of further data, although it is likely to be closer to the lower bound of this range, or maybe even number fewer individuals than this (R. Martin in litt. 2016).
Trend justification: Population declines have been noted across the range. In all of these declines, trapping for the wild bird trade has been implicated, with habitat loss also having significant impacts. Gatter (1997) estimated c.1,400 birds smuggled from Cote d’Ivoire annually between 1981-1984, over 99% being P. timneh. In 2009 Guinea exported 720 timneh, despite having a quota of zero (Anon. 2011).
Legal trade as monitored by CITES may represent only a proportion of the total numbers captured from the wild, while Allport (1991) estimated that c.77% of the Upper Guinea EBA forest cover had been lost at the time of that study, and regional forest loss has continued since that date at a high rate (H. Rainey in litt. 2010). There has been a dramatic decline (of 90-99%) in the closely related and ecologically similar P. erithacus in Ghana (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 2014; Annorbah et al. 2016). It is likely that similar processes that led to the decline have operated and continue to operate in neighbouring countries (in the case of exploitation for the overseas pet trade possibly at even greater intensities over the last two decades) (R. Martin in litt. 2016). Additionally, there is no evidence of ‘substantial’ populations elsewhere in their range beyond Sapo National Park in Liberia (Freeman 2014) and Gola National Park in Sierra Leone (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 2007; Klop et al. 2010).
The rate of decline is hard to quantify, but given the massive level of capture for trade and the high levels of forest loss in parts of the range a decline of >50% in three generations (43 years) may be likely.
Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Psittacus timneh. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 01/12/2022.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 01/12/2022.