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In issue 309 -
When an Older Parrot Has Never Learned Skilful Flight – Complete Psittacine by Eb Cravens
In issue 309 -
Scarlet Macaws – were they really bred by indigenous people in the 12th century? Rosemary Low asks the question
In issue 309 -
Understanding the link between nutrition, hormonal behaviours and the avian endocrine system, Part 1 – The Holistic Parrot by Leslie Moran
In issue 309 -
The Yellow-eared Parrot – continues to expand its range in Colombia. By David Waugh, Correspondent, Loro Parque Fundación
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 The October 2023 edition of Parrots magazine (issue 309) will be available to download from 13th September via a link which will be emailed to subscribers. Single copies will be available from our online shop. You can save money by subscribing – find out more here.

The plight of Brazil’s parakeets

Spreads for web 2

Habitat loss, poaching and trafficking are decimating some of Brazil’s most enchanting wildlife. Robert Alison has for many years had great concern for South America’s wildlife and in this article, he enlightens us about the damage we are inflicting on this precious area of our natural world.

Brazil has long had the dubious reputation for being a nucleus of psittacid black marketing. A maelstrom of egg and nestling poaching, as well as live-trapping of adult psittacids, has been documented for decades. Parakeets have been primary targets. According to Serra dos Tucanos researchers, poaching and international smuggling of Brazilian wildlife generates over $1 billion annually. About 70 per cent of the poached birds are marketed domestically. Most of the avian species targeted by poachers are psittacids, primarily parakeets.

"Caged birds are a cultural icon of all classes of Brazilian society," confirmed an official at the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Resources (IBAMA). He went on, "Caged birds are often in plain view."

In Brazil, it is unlawful to keep pet birds except under the authority of a licence. "You can go to jail for a serious offence," confirmed one Brazilian naturalist-guide. "Brazil has conservation laws, but they are not enforced consistently and bribery is often used to avoid penalties. There are huge fines, but they are rarely imposed for mere possession of a parrot or two."

He added that parrot-keeping is a ‘tradition’ in Brazil, but is now becoming a secret activity. "It is not talked about openly anymore," he says. "But, parakeets are trapped and traded in small numbers locally and some parakeet populations are declining as a result." IBAMA environment protection police, aided by federal police, are responsible for enforcing avian-protection laws. But enforcement is a dangerous profession in Brazil. According to IBAMA officials, wildlife law enforcement officers are frequently murdered. Death threats are common and increasing, especially in remote lawless jungle outposts.

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