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Clampdown for Grey Parrot trade

BirdLife welcomes the export bans

CITES, the international Convention governing trade in threatened species, has recommended a two-year ban from January 2007 on exports of Grey Parrots Psittacus erithacus from four West African countries (Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea), where the distinctive (sub)species timneh is found, and two Central African countries (Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea), where the more widespread (sub)species erithacus occurs. Only two countries— Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo - should be permitted to continue exporting Grey Parrots after January 2007, although their quotas should be halved to 4,000 and 5,000 birds respectively.

The meeting in Lima, Peru, also called for monitoring of parrots in trade, surveys of wild populations, and development of National and Regional Management Plans. The plans will need to tackle illegal trade in Grey Parrots and establish ways to prevent export quotas being exceeded.“BirdLife welcomes the export bans and quota reductions,” said Dr Hazell Shokellu Thompson, Head of BirdLife’s Africa Division. “There is ample evidence Grey Parrot numbers in the wild are declining through unsustainable exploitation. BirdLife Partners across Africa will assist national governments wherever possible with parrot surveys and monitoring so that scientifically justified decisions can be taken about the levels of sustainable trade permissible.”

The recommendations were made following a Significant Trade Review for Grey Parrot, carried out by BirdLife International at CITES’s request, which found that unsustainable numbers of birds are being traded, the majority of them destined for Europe. Earlier, BirdLife African Partners at their annual Partnership meeting (CAP) had agreed to collaborate on improving the conservation status of Grey Parrot.

Wildlife trade is big business. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) aims to protect species from the detrimental effects of international trade by establishing an international legal framework for preventing or controlling trade.

4th July 2014