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Columbus Zoo Helps 1,000 Endangered African Grey Parrots Confiscated in Cameroon
Friday, February 26 2010 @ 01:24 PM UTC
Contributed by: MikeSchindlinger
Views: 12169
General News Mon, 2/8/2010 - 11:19 AM - By Jennifer M. Wilson

Powell, OH - More than 1,000 endangered African grey parrots were delivered to the Limbe Wildlife Center in Cameroon last week after being confiscated as part of a $1.5 million illegal shipment at the Douala Airport.

The shipment—that was scheduled to be loaded on to Ethiopian Airlines—was the largest on record and is the third major bust of African grey parrots in Cameroon in the past two years. The Last Great Ape Organization (LAGA), in conjunction with Cameroonian law enforcement officials, coordinated the bust. The parrots were destined for Kuwait International Airport and the Bahrain International Airport.

Limbe staff members are scrambling to treat the parrots, many of which are injured or ill. Forty-seven parrots were found dead at the bottom of the crates upon arrival and another 30 did not survive the first day.

“It is crazy,” said Limbe manager Simone de Vries. “It makes you sick to see how the parrots were packed in the boxes, the weaker ones trampled by the strongest.”

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Author probes the ways we mistreat parrots
Thursday, November 05 2009 @ 03:43 AM UTC
Contributed by: MikeSchindlinger
Views: 6719
General News PAT MCCOID; pat.mccoid@thenewstribune.com
Published: November 9th, 2008 12:30 AM
Mira Tweti heaps so much praise on parrots in “Of Parrots and People” that readers might want to bring one home. That’s exactly what she hopes to prevent.

Tweti reveals parrots to be human-like in their intelligence, vocabulary skills and social sensibilities – traits that have doomed them to cages for centuries.

But the praise is prelude to 300 pages of investigative journalism aimed at discouraging parrot ownership.

Tweti explains why life in a cage is particularly miserable for parrots. She documents the cruelty of breeding operations and follows firsthand the chain of parrot possession from jungle to living room. It’s not a pretty story.

Parrots, possibly descended from dinosaurs, have the intelligence of a 3- to 5-year-old human. They mate for life, grieve for lost flockmates, defend one another fiercely and bond strongly with humans.

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Birds can Dance!
Friday, May 01 2009 @ 03:12 AM UTC
Contributed by: Paul Brennan
Views: 5714
General News Birds Can Dance, Experts (and Zany Videos) Reveal
Matt Kaplan for National Geographic News
April 30, 2009

His tastes may be sooo ten years ago, but the Backstreet Boys' smallest fan has helped scientists make an all-new discovery: Birds can dance.

And so far, they're the only known animals to display such rhythm.

Cats, dogs, and lab monkeys spend lots of time around human music. But no animal had ever been confirmed as moving to a beat—leading to the common belief that animals ain't got rhythm.

For one of two new studies on animal dancing, Aniruddh Patel at the Neurosciences Institute in San Diego and colleagues worked with Snowball the parrot, which seems to love "dancing" to the likes of Queen and Backstreet Boys.

To test whether the sulphur-crested cockatoo was really keeping a beat, the scientists would change the music's tempo—represented in these videos as "BPM" (beats per minute).

Not one to miss a beat, Snowball quickly picked up the new rhythms, stomping and head-bobbing in time.

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Mexico's Parrot Trade Exposed
Monday, April 27 2009 @ 12:52 PM UTC
Contributed by: Paul Brennan
Views: 7246
Conservation Defenders Magazine
Spring 2009
Mexico's Parrot Trade Exposed
Defenders of Wildlife fights to stop trafficking of wild birds

by Charles Bergman

Arms flailing and menace in her eyes, the woman charges me from behind a pile of cages. I heard her husband say something about giving her a cuchillo—a knife.

"No photos!" she yells in Spanish. "Don't take photos! Get out of here!"

I back away slowly.

We are in Xochimilco, a lively, outdoor market in Mexico City, where this woman is running a puesto, or stand for selling animals. She has stacks of animals in cages all around her, like walls of living creatures. In her cages are yellow-cheeked Amazons and orange-fronted parakeets—native Mexican parrots, caught in the wild. She doesn't want me to photograph them because they are illegal.

Juan Carlos Cantu, director of Defenders of Wildlife's Mexico office, has brought me here, along with Maria Elena Sanchez, president of Teyeliz, a Mexican conservation organization. For over a decade they have been fighting Mexico's illegal parrot trade. No one in the country knows more about it than these two—not the authorities, not even the traders. With support from Defenders of Wildlife, they have recently published the first comprehensive report on the problem, exposing the tricks of this trade. They brought me to Xochimilco to show me its dark and dirty secrets.

"This woman knows what she's doing is illegal," Cantu says. "That's why she's angry. Sellers often get violent."

When Cantu and Sanchez began their research, they already knew the illegal trade was huge. "We knew because we could see them for sale in the markets, like these parrots here," says Cantu. "But no one knew how big. Now we have numbers—for the first time."

According to the study, between 65,000 and 78,500 parrots are illegally trapped in the wild in Mexico every year, and thousands are smuggled across the border into the United States.

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Good News for Critically Endangered Parrot
Monday, February 23 2009 @ 08:17 PM UTC
Contributed by: Paul Brennan
Views: 5108
Conservation The miraculous discovery of a male kakapo (Strigops habroptila), over twenty years after it was last seen has boosted the known world population of this Critically Endangered parrot to 91.

BirdLife International reports that the flightless, nocturnal bird was recently rediscovered ‘booming’ (the male’s unique, resonant mating call) where no kakapos had been detected before.

The bird had not been seen since 1987, when it was one of four males released onto a conservation sanctuary near Stewart Island, New Zealand. As well as giving the potential for introducing extra genetic material into the kakapo breeding programme, the find has raised hopes of discovering more kakapos on this and other islands.

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Home for parrots whose owners flew the coop
Saturday, November 01 2008 @ 11:38 AM UTC
Contributed by: MikeSchindlinger
Views: 27083
General News A sanctuary for unwanted parrots

(Boston Globe) Foster Parrots provides homes for birds that can no longer be taken care of by their owners. The birds are intelligent and social but become moreaggressive as they mature. By Joanne Rathe, Globe Staff / By Bina Venkataraman /Globe Correspondent / October 27, 2008

The shrieks of Moluccan cockatoos ricochet off the walls in a cacophonous roar, while parakeets clamor "Hello! Hello!" to one another. At the New England Exotic Wildlife Sanctuary, more than 300 parrots take ambient noise to new heights.

This is the first parrot sanctuary of its size and caliber in the country, said author Mira Tweti, who has studied the parrot trade for more than a decade. With aviaries that stretch more than 7,000 square feet, and an additional 5,000 square feet of flying space under construction, the sanctuary provides something that thousands of parrots lack: a permanent home.

Many of these former pet birds were shuffled from house to house for years before they landed here, and were adopted by Foster Parrots, a nonprofit group started by Marc Johnson, of Middleborough. The sanctuary lies on a 15-acre plot about 5 miles from the Connecticut border, in a single-story building that was once - oddly enough - the broiler house for a chicken farm. Since setting up shop in December, Johnson has been getting more and more calls from people hoping to unload their parrots.

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Most Recent Post: 05/03 03:45AM by tracey

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Foster Parrots - Adoption and Conservation

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