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The Cape Parrot is South Africa’s only endemic parrot, and the species may disappear before most South African even knew about our national parrot. See Appendix A for more details of the taxonomy of this beautiful parrot.

Over the last 150 years, a combination of the degradation of our remaining Afromontane forest patches, disease outbreaks most especially Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD) , direct persecution (e.g. shooting by farmers) and illegal capture for the wild-caught bird trade has decimated the global wild population to less than 1,000 individuals.

The “green-and-gold” Cape Parrot is one of the most endangered bird species in South Africa, and the most endangered parrot in Africa, sadly it is an ambassador for the degraded Afromontane mist-belt forest patches.

“Saving the Cape Parrot and the forests they depend upon is going to be a multi-generational effort over the next 100 years that will need true “forest custodians.”

In 2009 the Cape Parrot Project was launched as a joint venture between:

  1. The Wild Bird Trust – as originator, co-ordinators and funds administrator (;
  2. Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology (University of Cape Town) – for on-going scientific research (;
  3. World Parrot Trust – on funding and technical support (

The focus region is the Amathole Mountains and the project is based at the iZingcuka Forest Station near Hogsback Village in the Amathole District Municipality (especially the Nkonkobe and Amahlati Local Municipalities). There are plans to expand community-based conservation work to the Transkei region to the East.

 The iziKhwenene Project currently has no corporate sponsors and urgently requires funding to:

  1. Refurbish the iZingcuka Forest Station as the long-term base for operations of the Cape Parrot Project;
  2. Sponsor 24 new village partnerships and; ,
  3. Plant and care for over 1 million indigenous trees over the next 10 years.

All funds go towards corporate social investment (e.g. tree-planting teams) or social enterprise development (e.g. micro-nurseries and nest box workshop). All corporate sponsorships go towards poverty reduction and job creation in the one of the poorest areas of South Africa.

The iziKhwenene Project also supports the transition of one of South Africa’s poorest regions to a low-carbon, resource efficient and climate change resilient growth path, reinforcing climate policy objectives through green interventions like tree-planting and the removal of alien invasive species.

The Wild Bird Trust believes in long-term partnerships that support our objective to restore the Afromontane forests of the Eastern Cape to the former glory with the help of local communities who have heritage rights to these forests. The iziKhwenene Project is thus a heritage project that plants our national tree, the Yellowwood, to save our national parrot, the Cape Parrot or iziKhwenene. We see this as a multi-generational effort and responsibility and would like our corporate sponsors to join us on this journey.


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Cape Parrot Project

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