Squawking Result as CITES Places African grey Parrots top of the Protection Pecking Order

Squawking Result as CITES Places African grey Parrots top of the Protection Peck
Sunday, 2 October, 2016
Johannesburg, South Africa

African grey parrots flew to the top of the pecking order today as CITES voted decisively to uplist wild populations to Appendix I thus ending their international commercial trade.

IFAW has welcomed the decision today by the 17th Conference of the Parties (CoP 17) of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to end commercial trade in African grey parrots.

“An Appendix I listing by CITES will immediately improve the welfare and conservation of African greys, by protecting them from overexploitation, from uncontrolled and illegal trade; and requiring countries to support all efforts to increase protections for the parrots. This is a great day for a species under threat simply because of their popularity as a pet bird,” said Kelvin Alie, Director of IFAW’s Wildlife Trade Programme.

Alie said the live pet trade, habitat destruction and fragmentation had decimated African grey parrot populations in the wild. African greys are highly prized as pets due to their highly vocal nature and their ability to learn and mimic human language.

These traits have made the parrots a target for traders, and African greys are considered the third most internationally-traded, wild-harvested bird species with their populations in declines in 14 of 18 range countries.

African grey parrots were listed on CITES Appendix II in 1981 due to the potential impact of trade on its population at the time; since then over-harvesting arising from poor quota system, poor management and regulation of trade, fraudulent permitting and a high death rate of the birds due to poor harvesting has decimated populations.

Legal trade data estimates that over 1.3-million African greys were exported from range states between 1975 and 2013, with an average of 40-60 per cent dying due to deplorable transit and transport conditions. This means the true estimate of African greys captured in just under 40-years was between 2.1-3.2-million birds.

The proposal was submitted by five range states, Gabon, Nigeria, Guinea-Bissau, Angola and Togo, with co-sponsorship by Chad, Senegal, USA and EU. It was agreed by 95 votes in support, 35 votes against and 5 abstentions.

About IFAW

Founded in 1969, IFAW rescues and protects animals around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Photos are available at www.ifawimages.com

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