Changing Planet

Lovebirds for Valentine’s Day

To all you lovebirds out there, Happy Valentine’s Day! As a gift for you and your special other, here are some of our favorite bird photos from the National Geographic Photo Ark, including a couple of real lovebirds.

In the photo above is a pair of yellow-streaked lories, Chalcopsitta sintillata, at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. A native of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, this lory is a species of parrot, common in its range and not regarded as Threatened.

A pair of Fischer's lovebirds, Agapornis fischeri, at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Photographed for the National Geographic Photo Ark by Joel Sartore.
A pair of Fischer’s lovebirds, Agapornis fischeri, at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Photographed for the National Geographic Photo Ark by Joel Sartore. Species are disappearing at an alarming rate. But together we can help. The interaction between animals and their environments is the engine that keeps the planet healthy for all of us. But for many species, time is running out. That’s why National Geographic, along with renowned photographer Joel Sartore, is dedicated to finding solutions to save them.  Click on the Sartore photograph of the lovebirds above to get more information.

Fischer’s lovebird, in the photo on the left, was once the most commonly traded wild bird in the world. Today it is listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as Near Threatened “because it has experienced a moderately rapid population reduction in its restricted range owing to trapping for export,” IUCN states on its website for the species. “Evidence of a greater population decline, or more detailed information about how hybridization [in the wild] with the [yellow-collared lovebird] Agapornis personatus is affecting this species, could qualify the species for a higher threat category,” IUCN warns.

Fischer’s lovebird is native to Tanzania, where it was once legally trapped for export. That trade has been stopped, but the lovebird has been introduced elsewhere in Africa and to other parts of the world. The pet trade breeds it in captivity.

The National Geographic Photo Ark is a multi-year project to photograph all species in captivity. The lovebird is one of them. To learn more about the Photo Ark, visit natgeophotoark.org,

Follow the Photo Ark photographer Joel Sartore and the National Geographic Photo Ark on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook, and add your voice using #SaveTogether.

 

Forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. He has 120,000 followers on social media. David Braun edits the National Geographic Society blog, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and initiatives. He also directs the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience. Follow David on Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn
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    In the Middle Ages people believed that birds found their mates for life on February 14, and Valentine’s Day cards frequently depict lovebirds.

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Researchers, conservationists, and others share stories, insights and ideas about Our Changing Planet, Wildlife & Wild Spaces, and The Human Journey. More than 50,000 comments have been added to 10,000 posts. Explore the list alongside to dive deeper into some of the most popular categories of the National Geographic Society’s conversation platform Voices.

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Voices director: David Braun (dbraun@ngs.org)

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