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Unsustainable Grey Parrot Trade in South Africa

It has taken us less than 70 years to decimate most grey parrot populations, transforming the species into one of the most abundant, well-known and widespread pet parrots on Earth. Over a million have been captured and removed from the wild to accommodate booming demand over the last century. Millions have now been bred in…

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week #37

Contingas, pardalotes, whydahs, eremomelas, camaroptera and cutias… Taxonomists are not good at coming up with easy-to-remember bird names. This is especially true for the rarest, remotest and often most beautiful birds whose ancestors were not named by local English-speaking peoples. As a result most of the over 10,000 bird species on earth have difficult unpronounceable names.…

“African Grey Mafia” Threaten Grey Parrots in Wild

African grey parrots are the most populous non-human Africans outside of Africa… These charismatic parrots are our most important ambassadors, charming people around the world with vocabularies of up to 200 words and advanced cognitive abilities. For at least 50 years, grey parrots have been among the most internationally-traded wild birds on earth. CITES (the Convention…

The World’s Most Traded Wild Birds? Senegal Parrots, color morphs, and the wild-caught bird trade…

Over the last 30 years as many as 3 million wild Senegal parrots have been removed from the wild – 811,408 CITES Export permits have been issued since 1975. Unregulated trade in African parrots peaked in the 1980s and ’90s, and still exists today. This lucrative black market industry is fueled by profiteering middlemen who exploit…

Mystery death of 687 wild grey parrots on 1-hour flight to Durban revisited…

Almost exactly a year ago, on the 24th December 2010 at 3pm, the ground staff from 1time Airlines and BidAir Cargo at the King Shaka International Airport (Durban, South Africa) discovered almost 700 dead African grey parrots crammed into 15 crates in the cargo hold of the MD-80 they were offloading. The staff on hand reported…

Wildlife trade and uncontrolled deforestation threaten Africa’s parrots…

Africa’s parrots are a unique assemblage of lovebirds, Poicephalus parrots, grey parrots, and Rose-ringed parakeets that have managed to find a home in the forests and savanna of this wild and primordial continent. All species are now under serious threat from escalating trade due to emerging markets in the Far East and habitat loss due to deforestation,…