African Grey Parrots in danger of extinction

Posted on 06 March 2019 by

Edith Kabesiime

in the Animals in the wild blog

The African grey parrot, also known as the Congo grey parrot is a common bird in Equatorial Africa, hence the name, African Grey Parrot.

It has its origins in Africa, and due to this, we would expect a high number of them in their wild habitats, but this is not the case. Over the years, their populations have quickly declined due to illegal trafficking.  For example, Ghana has lost up to 99% of its population in the last 47 years.

This worrying trend paints a bleak future for this beautiful species and we must protect them now.

An endangered species

‘African Silence’, is what the bird can be referred to, because it is the most heavily traded wild bird, and no one seems to talk about it.

This is outlined in the Convention of the International Trade in Endangered Species of wild fauna and flora (CITES), a body that regulates wildlife trade globally.

Our 'Wild at Heart' report indicates that poachers have mastered the art of capturing these birds. They make glue traps out from barks and tie them around trees. As the birds fly to patch on trees, they get stuck, rendering them immobile. This results to injuries on their feeble wings permanently affecting their ability to fly.

Other threats that they face in the wild include being killed for bush meat and deforestation. Parrots mainly breed in holes within old logs.  With rampant deforestation, their breeding places are destroyed.

What has made them popular pets?

The African grey parrot is considered as a good pet by pet keepers due to its intelligence, ability to speak and a possible return of high profits after sale.

People in the trade earn huge profit margins and as a result traffic the birds to other countries where there is a high demand and possibility to put up high market prices such as Australia, Asia, China and United Arab Emirates.

However , in Countries like USA who have strong laws  that regulate wildlife trade, there is minimal trade of these birds. The USA have an Act , ‘Wild Bird Conservation Act’ that has really contributed to an almost zero trade of this bird in the country.

Calling to an end in the trafficking

Being illegally trafficked in deplorable conditions and put in captivity for the rest of their lives is no life for an African Grey Parrot.  They deserve to be in the wild where they can interact with their own and fend for themselves as they’d normally would.

We therefore would like to see this illegal trade of African Grey parrots and other species caught in the exotic pet trade come to a halt.  Wildlife is Africa’s heritage and must be protected.

Our latest campaign, #WildlifeNotPets urges Turkish Airlines to stop transporting these birds from DRC Congo to other countries. We believe when the transportation link is cut, the poachers would have no choice but to stop capturing them since the market will have been disrupted.

So far we’re glad that Turkish Airlines has responded by putting an embabrgo to the transportation of these birds but this is not a full commitment yet. We’re proceeding with the campaign until the trade is banned in its entirety.

Join us today by adding your voice to our petition. When all is said and done, we’ll be all proud to see wild animals secure from extinction.

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Edith Kabesiime

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