Celebrate Conservation Victories

Good news is hard to come by in the world of parrot conservation. I believe we need to keep our spirits high and our thoughts positive so we may help more birds around the world. While some people can be urged to take action when notified of the dire situations many parrots are in, others do better with positive results that show change is possible.

So celebrate that the government of Bolivia has set aside 1.4 million acres of Blue-throated macaw habitat, home to 35% of known wild population, including 50% of breeding pairs. Working with the World Parrot Trust and the government, the local inhabitants chose to create this sanctuary and help the macaws turn around their slide toward extinction. People do make a difference. http://www.cageandaviarybirds.co.uk/news/latest-news/1499-bolivia-s-boost-for-blue-throats.html

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On page 14 of PsitaScene Magazine, put out by the World Parrot Trust, a census of Yellow-Crested Cockatoos took place in April of 2016. While there were signs of natural fires that had destroyed the preferred gebang palm trees, the party counted 71 of these extremely rare cockatoos and many active nesting sites in half a day. This is on Komodo Island, part of the Lesser Sunda chain of islands in Indonesia. Komodo National Park was established in 1980 to protect the Komodo dragons, also endangered. While it’s known that small dragons and many snakes on the islands eat cockatoo eggs and chicks, and there are healthy raptors in the area, the cockatoos are benefiting from the protection from humans and habitat destruction. The summary of the survey showed that the populations are increasing, but could benefit from nest boxes that would be safe from reptiles and reforesting burned areas. https://issuu.com/worldparrottrust/docs/ps_autumn_2016?mode=window

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At last, a total ban is in place on trade in wild African gray parrots. Congo and Timneh grays are highly coveted birds because they are smart and may talk as well as make interesting sound effect noises. Their intelligence means that taking them from the wild is close to kidnapping. They suffer pain, trauma, and lasting emotional damage from being removed from their family and flock, stuffed into a small container, and carted for miles with little to no care. Trying to appease officials but keep some trade open, a limit was placed on the number of birds that could be exported. The species has already gone extinct or survives in very low numbers in Angola, Benin, Burundi, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Togo. Only a total ban empowers law enforcement to act and remove any birds found in the possession of poachers. The next step will be to improve habitats and stop the destruction of forests in the Congo basin. http://wwf.panda.org/?279870/African-Grey-Parrots

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Some issues with South American forests and parrot populations revolve around the people in charge in the area. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) took an amazing step and helped two conservation groups, the Loro Parque Fundación (LPF) of Spain and Fundación ProAves of Colombia. They allowed the groups to access the land where yellow-eared parrots nested in and feed on Ceroxylon quindiuense palms. Previously, the Vatican stepped in to convince the Catholic population to use a different leaf for Palm Sunday and Easter services. Now, it certainly seems Divine Grace has touched these parrots. The population count increased by 50% due to the expanded areas where they could make observations. http://www.parrotsdailynews.com/number-of-the-wild-yellow-eared-parrots-has-been-increased-50-times-in-the-last-17-years/

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I like to look into conservation issues at least once per month. As an aviculturist, I enjoy having avian companions, breeders, watching wild birds, and helping with conservation whenever I can. If you know of some improvement in conservation, please share it in the comments. Also if you are a fan of many types of birds, you can join us on Facebook! The page does revolve around North County Aviculturists in Vista, CA. But everyone is welcome to join. https://www.facebook.com/groups/428122157356577/

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Thanks for reading, I’ll be back next Sunday.

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