The University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Professor Colleen Downs – holder of the South African Research Chair (SARChI) in
Ecosystem Health and Biodiversity in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape – is playing a leading role in efforts to
conserve South Africa’s only endemic parrot. The Cape parrot, Poicephalus robustus, was only confirmed as a distinct
species in 2017, and its population in the wild is estimated at just 1 800 birds.
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