|As you read this, African Grey parrots are vanishing from the planet. Each month, thousands of these birds are stolen from the wild to be sold illegally on the international pet market.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) alone, every year more than 15,000 parrots are illegally captured and smuggled by organized crime into the Middle East, United States and Europe. The US is one of the major destinations.
Once there were more than three million African Greys. They are now extinct in Togo, and in Ghana the population has dropped by 99%.
Poachers lace tree branches with glue waiting for their prey to roost. When the parrots land they are trapped and struggle furiously until their captors wrench them violently from the trees. Their feathers are then brutally hacked off with machetes to stop them escaping, often causing irreversible damage. Some of these birds will never fly again.
ONLY ONE IN TWENTY SURVIVE CAPTURE!
|The rest are smuggled around the world and sold into the international pet trade.If they survive, the poor creatures, who are designed to spend their lives flying, are instead locked in small cages. They fast become depressed, obese and angry and are frequently abandoned by their owners after just a few short years. Remember, African Greys live 60 years and are the only bird species to show empathy. Some of their problem-solving skills are equivalent to that of a six-year-old child.
|Friend, imagine the trauma and suffering these poor creatures experience
|African Greys inhabit a large strip of equatorial forest running from the Ivory Coast, through Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, and into the DRC. In each of these countries, parrots are in trouble as the demand for African Greys continues to soar despite the trade being strictly illegal.African Greys are listed on CITES Appendix 1, meaning they are among the world’s most endangered species and should be exported from their home countries only under the most stringent conditions. These rules are supposed to be enforced by governments around the world. This is not happening. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a major smuggling centre with an estimated 15,000 parrots captured every year for the pet trade, yet nobody has ever been convicted of an environmental crime in the last 60 years.The DRC is not the only offender. In Nigeria and Sierra Leone, the birds are openly traded in village markets.
|Organized crime is heavily involved!
Traffickers smuggle the parrots from country to country until eventually getting them to Europe and the United States, where they are falsely designated as locally bred or sold to unscrupulous merchants and breeders who don’t care where they come from, just as long as long as a profit can be made from them. Illegal birds are cheaper and produce chicks much faster than those bred in captivity.
Friend, we need to act fast! Researchers cannot say for sure how many African Greys are left in the wild, perhaps as few as 630,000, but all experts can agree their numbers are falling drastically and extinction in the wild is all but certain unless action is taken.
The future for these clever majestic birds looks bleak. We need to do everything we can to raise awareness about parrots facing extinction. Please be generous today – without your help, between massive habitat loss to poaching, they stand little to no chance of survival in the wild.