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The challenges in conserving the turquoise fronted amazon parrot

Discussion in 'Wildlife & Nature Conservation' started by Onychorhynchus coronatus, 2 Sep 2020.

  1. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    A good article from Mongabay on the steep challenges of conserving the turquoise fronted amazon parrot from poaching for the illegal pet trade in Brazil.

    For Brazil’s most trafficked parrot, the poaching is relentless

    Sadly this species often ends up in Brazilian zoos in large numbers, either as former pets dumped on the doorstep, or when they are confiscated by the environmental police after raids on animal traffickers.
     
    Last edited: 2 Sep 2020
  2. DDcorvus

    DDcorvus Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately it is economics at play here. The species is bred in large numbers in captivity (although the subspecies xanthopteryx is more popular as it has more yellow colouring) and those animals would make better pets, but wild-caught chicks are of course a lot cheaper. Regulating this would be very difficult inside Brazil as chicks taken from the nest could be laundered easily by taking them young enough and ringing them (although then the price would go up as they would have to be hand-fed longer).
     
  3. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I agree with you on all of the points you have made here, economics is indeed the problem.

    However, I do think that the primary driver of the poaching of this species for the pet trade is it's vocal ability for which is famed here in Brazil.

    Most people here know that of all the papagaio parrots (the amazons)it is the "ajuruetê" (as it is known here) which has the best vocal abilities and this ability to "talk", imitate it's "owners" and say humorous or rude things. These characteristics ultimately makes it a very attractive household "pet" and demand drives a very lucrative black market.

    Parrot ownership isn't really something limited to a certain social class here in Brazil as it is in Europe or the United States and you will often find these birds being kept as pets by working class people as much as the lower middle class. For this reason , IMO captive breeding the species to reduce the pressure on wild populations would not really work and as you've mentioned animal traffickers could just end up "laundering" the chicks and making a tidy profit anyway.

    At least part of the solution therefore should IMO be environmental education campaigns at zoos and outreach by NGO's within communities and on social media to try to highlight the problems caused by poaching for the pet trade. This continues to be done by many organizations but of course all of this requires a sustained effort year after year and decade after decade.

    Outreach is also an area where "Animal rights" organizations could potentially be very useful but unsuprisingly I have yet to see them devote as much effort to this cause as they do for calling for the closure of zoos, talking on social media and yelling at people who are not vegetarians / vegans etc. :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: 2 Sep 2020