The Key to Conservation

In the wake of the Netherlands’ landmark decision to prohibit parrot chicks being removed from their parents, I have been thinking of what we can do to improve the chances of wild parrots surviving in their natural habitats. Who are the people already out there, holding the line against so many perils? I googled parrot conservationists to see who might show up.

The first conservationist is, himself, a parrot. Sirocco, the kakapo famous for humping a camera man in front of Stephen Fry, is New Zealand’s Conservation Spokesbird. He has a social media presence on Facebook and Twitter, and joined SAVE – the Society of Avian Vocal Entertainers. He’s quite the performer, and also more of an athlete than you would think from his 64 cm tall, 4,000 gram physique. He loves to swim, almost as much as other parrots like to fly.

It appears that the folks actually doing the conservation work are both so numerous and too busy to be well known that spokespersons are much better known, but that’s not really a bad thing. Growing up in San Diego, the Zoo and Safari Park have been huge in my life and my memories. Joan Embry brought animals to many talk shows and made many more memories for many people. While she doesn’t advocate any particular parrot species, she spreads the important doctrine of the connected life around us. It does little good to save a species of bird while devastating the plants it feeds on and nests in.

A great idea and a great organization is called WorkingAbroad. Through this group, you can go anywhere in the world where help is needed in conservation efforts. The organization was founded by two people who are helping people as well as birds and animals. Andreas Kornevall and Vicky McNeil, Co-founders and Directors of WorkingAbroad. They have a searchable data base of opportunities, and when I searched Costa Rica, Environment and Animal Conservation, I found the Macaw Release Program. They are working to increase the numbers of Great Green Macaws and Scarlet Macaws in the wild. I’d go.

We lose so much as each animal we can’t save disappears from the earth forever. We also lost so much when “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin died. Whatever you think about his style and his history, he brought good attention to the state of Australian animals on the edge. His beautiful daughter Bindi Irwin continues that work, focusing on crocodiles and the need to keep the world clean and green. With such an early start, I expect we’ll see great strides from this determined young woman.

There are many such well-known and slightly-known figures in conservation work, but most have been involved with dramatic animals like apes and elephants. In the light of the theory that the influence of any one animal is enough to make or destroy life for all other animals, here’s a link to 16 short bios on conservationists.

Focusing on parrots only, the best organization is the World Parrot Fund. Founded by Mike Reynolds, the organization works all over the planet in efforts to save habitat and species. Sadly, Mr. Reynolds passed away but the fund is still going strong. Visit their page and get an idea of what one person can achieve.
Thank you for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.

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