Cart Is Empty
Subscribe To Parrots Magazine - Don't miss a thing

DNA to fight trafficked parrot trade

Spreads for web Parrots 278 4

By Kate Midena and Alice Matthews

You may be familiar with the use of DNA technology for catching criminals and solving crimes, but now a group of scientists from Canberra and the United Kingdom are using DNA to save trafficked parrots.

The illegal wildlife trade is the world’s fourth most lucrative organised crime operation, worth over $30 billion a year. Within that illegal wildlife trade, parrots are the most trafficked bird, according to Dr George Olah from the Fenner School of Environment and Society at the Australian National University (ANU). “We have around 400 parrot species around the world, and more than 300 have been registered in the wildlife trade,” Dr Olah told ABC Radio Canberra. “The pet trade is one of the main drivers for that. Parrots are highly intelligent and very colourful, so people like them and keep them as pets, which I think is the main reason that’s fuelling the trade. It’s huge and it’s big money at stake. It’s very high reward, but low risk, as the punishment is not as strong as with other crimes,” Dr Olah explained.

So, in a bid to temper the trafficked parrot trade, scientists from the ANU and King’s Forensics in the UK are establishing a parrot genetic database, which they hope will form a map of where each parrot species lives, and where they’re being poached from. It’s kind of like the Interpol database.

Get your copy now



Subscribe Now

Subscribe to parrots magazine

Subscribe today to the best most widely read magazine for parrot lovers.


Our Address

Parrots magazine is published by
Imax Visual Ltd, West Building,
Elm Grove Lane, Steyning BN44 3SA

Telephone +44 (0)1273 464777
© Parrots magazine 2023