Letters


Dear Parrots magazine,

Wild caught in markets

I refer to the “Parrots of Peru” article by Robert Alison (April 2010 edition), and agree with his central thesis that ecotourism has an increasing importance for parrot conservation in that country. I also agree with his mention of the potential for responsible aviculture in Peru. Mainly I wish to refer to the situation of wild-caught parrots being available in local markets. It might be true, although I have not seen comparative figures that support a decline of parrots in these markets, but there is still a long way to go before this no longer happens.

In 2007 and 2008, a study of the parrot trade within Peru was carried out by the Bolivian NGO Asociación Armonía, and funded by Chester Zoo and the Loro Parque Fundación of Tenerife, Spain. In this study, twenty main wildlife markets were visited in eight cities in order to estimate the number of parrot species and individuals traded legally and illegally within a year. The results will soon be published*, and will reveal the species involved and other details. Suffice to say here that the study estimated a total market size in the cities surveyed of between 80,000 and 90,000 individual parrots, including 63 per cent of the 52 known Peruvian parrot species.

* Gastañaga, M., Macleod, R., Hennessey, B., Ugarte Núñez, J., Puse, E., Arrascue, A., Hoyos, J., Maldonado Chambi, W., Vasquez, J. and Engblom, G. (2010) A study of the parrot trade in Peru and the potential importance of internal trade for threatened species. Bird Conservation International (In press).

Dr David Waugh, Director, Loro Parque Fundación

 


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