Thursday 24 September 2020

Authorities in Cameroon seize eight African Grey Parrots from wildlife traffickers.

Officials from the Ministère des Forêts et de la Faune, acting on information provided by the Zoological Society of London, seized eight African Grey Parrots, Psittacus erithacus, from traffickers in the town of Djoum in the south of the country earlier this month. The Parrots are thought to have been on their way to the country's capital, Yaoundé, where they would probably have been sold on to pet illicit pet trade in Asia or Europe. According to the Zoological Society of London, Parrots are typically caught in glue-traps in Cameron, with one Bird being glued to the branch of a tree, and others being caught by the glue when they come to investigate. The Society regards this practice as extremely cruel to the highly intelligent Birds, as are the highly cramped conditions in which the Birds are transported, with many dying in transit. Trafficking in Parrots or other endangered wildlife can result in a prison sentence of up to three years in Cameroon, however the high value of the Birds combined with widespread poverty in the country means than many are still tempted to try.

Three of a group of eight African Grey Parrots, Psittacus erithacus, seized by the Cameroonian Ministère des Forêts et de la Faune in the town of Djoum earlier this month. Zoological Society of London.

African Grey Parrots are classified as Endangered under the terms of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species. They are considered to be threatened across their entire range, both due to poaching and habitat loss, due to deforestation, with little organised protection for the species other than attempts to tackle the illegal pet trade, and a few local re-introduction programs in areas where they have been wiped out. The Parrots were formerly found from Angola and Tanzania north to Kenya and the forests of West and Central Africa, but are now thought to be locally extinct in Togo and Benin, and threatened across the remainder of their range. It is estimated that about 21% of the wild population is taken by hunters for the pet trade each year, with Cameroon losing around 100 000 Birds per year.

The current distribution of the African Grey Parrot, Psittacus erithacus. ICUN/Red List.

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