(BIRDS) Many are unaware of the devastating impact the global animal trade has had on wild bird populations, particularly parrots. With parrots being the largest group of captive wild animals in the nation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has listed the popular yellow-billed parrot as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. Continue reading to learn about the rules being implemented to control the harmful global trade in birds. — Global Animal
yellow billed parrot
Photo Credit: greenantilles.com

Jamaica’s Yellow-Billed Parrots Gain U.S. Protections Through the Endangered Species Act

Parrots Threatened by Pet Trade, Habitat Loss

Washington, DC — In a step towards curtailing the harmful global trade in birds, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) on Tuesday listed yellow-billed parrots (Amazona collaria) as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act.

The listing responds to the January 29, 2008 petition from Friends of Animals to add 14 parrot species to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.

“After their meals of nuts and berries, blossoms and figs, yellow-billed parrots disperse the seeds that generate Jamaica’s woodlands,” said Lee Hall, Vice President for Legal Affairs with Friends of Animals.

“In contrast, human landowners remove these birds’ woodland habitats to plant crops, such as Blue Mountain Coffee, and to graze cattle and goats. On top of that, parrots are snatched and shipped off to live as caged pets. We’re optimistic that this milestone listing will promote genuine change.”

When the 12-month listing decisions for twelve of the parrot species petitioned by Friends of Animals became overdue, the group, joined by WildEarth Guardians, with legal support from the University of Denver Environmental Law Clinic, sued. In a settlement with the government in July 2010, the FWS agreed to provide overdue listings.

“Endangered Species Act protection is key for foreign species taken from their homes for the pet trade,” said Taylor Jones, Endangered Species Advocate for WildEarth Guardians.

“Demand for these attractive, intelligent, and vocal birds drives poaching in their home ranges.”

Yellow-billed parrots are also listed in Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Appendix II, which places some restrictions on international trade.

As the yellow-billed parrot is being listed as “threatened,” the Service is including a Special Rule under the ESA which would allow continued import or export of birds held in captivity prior to the listing date and of captive-bred birds.

Said Friends of Animals’ Lee Hall, “We urge the public to steer clear of bird breeders and press stores that sell parrots to change their policies. Human homes are not appropriate for birds. Yellow-billed parrots live in large, communal nests. No human home can ever match their social and biological needs.”

Contact: Lee Hall, Friends of Animals, Email / 610-964-0090 [email protected]

Additional contact: Taylor Jones, WildEarth Guardians, [email protected] / 303-353-1490

More Friends of Animals: http://www.friendsofanimals.org/news/2013/march/yellowbilled-parrots.html