The distribution and abundance of free-flying African Grey Parrots in Kampala District, Uganda.
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The African Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus), a forest specialist, is threatened by the continued loss of forest cover in most of its main habitats. The pet trade is also a major threat on the wild populations of this species. Despite these two threats, the distribution, viability and abundance of this species remain understudied, yet the parrot can be observed in some relatively forested urban spaces, especially in Kampala, Uganda. The study was carried out in Kampala City to provide baseline information on parrots, which are increasingly seen in the city. The study has generated spatial and numerical information on the parrots and data on the environmental features responsible for their survival. The present study was designed to: (1) assess the environmental conditions that characterize the areas where parrots are active. (2) estimate the Parrot’s population and assessing their characteristic behavioural traits, (3) map major sites of parrot activity and (4) survey the locations of captive-held parrots. Voucher specimens were collected for identification to species of trees used by parrots and parrot-counts were made in predetermined areas. GPS coordinates were collected for all areas in which parrot’ activity was recorded. One kilometer transects were surveyed with play-back to confirm captive parrot presence. Arc GIS was used to generate maps to show captive locations and the distribution of free-flying parrots. There were seventeen tree species identified to be in use by the Parrots, four being the main sources of food. I found that parrot counts can be made in residential areas and flight paths had a strong association t=0.00042 while foraging t=0.0122 with combinations of tree heights. Most of the trees used were younger. UWA should work closely with District Environmental officers to do monitoring and close follow up on captive parrots, to ensure their welfare. Further research on certain aspects of parrot biology and captive breeding is needed.