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Parrots of Peru

Parrots of Peru

Robert Alison

Aviculture in Peru, formerly robust and widespread, with a long history spanning all social classes, has become a much rarer, more surreptitious underground activity in recent times. Its scope has been greatly reduced, mainly as a result of government initiatives to curb the poaching of psittacid nestlings from the wild, and smuggling, both of which have taken a heavy toll in some Peruvian macaws and other parrots and parakeets. Up until now, Peruvian parrot aviculture has been almost exclusively based on the taking of wild stock from the wild.

“Many local people, in urban and rural areas, used to keep macaws and other parrots as household pets,” said professional ecotour guide George Borja, “These pets were very popular and people often considered them to be members of their families.”

But, he added that, “It is now illegal to possess macaws or parrots, with large fines and jail terms of up to 5 years if a person is found with pet parrots, although some people still keep them, but it is mostly done in secret.” Long gone are the days when parrots might be easily purchased in local markets - they are now conspicuously absent.

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