Cotswold Wildlife Park in Oxfordshire has welcomed a new species of bird with a flock of magnificently coloured Black-Cheeked Lovebirds – just in time for Valentine’s Day.
The name ‘Lovebird’ comes from the parrots’ strong, monogamous pair bonding and the long periods of time the birds spend sitting closely together.
Believed to be Africa’s most endangered parrot, scientists estimate there are fewer than 10,000 Black-Cheeked Lovebirds left in the wild. The birds were trapped extensively from 1908 until a ban was implemented by Zambia in 1930.
However, the illegal trade in wild-caught birds continued, and Lovebirds are now listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species. In addition, Black-Cheeked Lovebirds inhabit the driest region of Zambia which has also affected wild population numbers.
Visitors can see the new Lovebird flock along with two additional new bird species – The Western Moustached Laughing Thrush and Red-Billed Blue Magpie. For more information on visiting go to www.cotswoldwildlifepark.co.uk