We asked Hazel to share with us a little more about her research and her recent activities.
In February I gave a public lecture on Mahe in the Seychelles as part of my research with the Seychelles Islands Foundation (SIF) on the Seychelles Black parrot. It was a great turnout with the national press, conservation workers, and even school children! After the lecture I was interviewed for the national news and featured in a news article.
As one of the last few remaining endemic parrots in the Indian Ocean and the National Bird of the Seychelles, the Seychelles black parrot is found only on Praslin (an island in the Seychelles of only 38km2), with a population size of just 520-900 parrots. My research examined the evolutionary, genetic and morphometric distinctiveness between the Seychelles black parrot, and other lesser black parrot subspecies found on Grand Comoros and Madagascar.
Excitingly as a result of this research, in combination with ecological and behavioural studies, the Seychelles black parrot has now been reclassified to full species status by Birdlife International, and has been reclassified as endangered by the IUCN. This is a great outcome for SIF and will enable them to direct future funding and research towards conservation of this unique black parrot.