Taxonomy news: two new species of Vasa parrots

April 13th, 2015 | by LubosTomiska
Taxonomy news: two new species of Vasa parrots
Taxonomy
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Considerable taxonomic changes in the HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World affected also the genus Vasa. Del Hoyo and his team suggested two new species in this group of parrots. Up to now, the genus Vasa included Coracopsis nigra and Coracopsis vasa.

Coracopsis sibilans

Recently considered as subspecies of Coracopsis nigra, it was named Coracopsis nigra sibilans. In comparison with former species the coloration of feathers is not bluegreay but more brownish. Otherwise, differences are really slight. We will find this species on Grande Comore and Anjouanu Islands which are part of Comoros. International organization Birdlife.org estimates that the size of whole population doesn’t exceed 1000-2500 individuals. According to IUCN Red List it is classified as Near threatened. Deforestation and loss of natural habitat represent the most serious threat. We would not probably find this species in captivity.

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Coracopsis nigra. (c) Fir Z. This file is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license.

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Coracopsis barklyi

The rarest Vasa species. In the past it was considered as subspecies of Coracopsis nigra and named Coracopsis nigra barklyi. The latter species is more brownish than black. It’s a national bird of Seychelles and is found only on Praslin Islands. According to estimates of Birdlife.org there are last 340-600 adults living in the wild. IUCN classifies it as Vulnerable species. Natural population is decimated by invasive rats and illegal trade as well.

The most serious threat for this species is PBFD now which has been spread by invasive Indian Ringneck Parrots. Population has to also face to fires which are common on Seychelles since 1980.

READ  New cockatoo species and subspecies in Handbook of the Birds of the World

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Title photo: (c) Jerry Oldenettel. This file is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license.

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