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Colombian reserve to double in size, aiding critically endangered parrot
Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 07:09 PM UTC
Contributed by: MikeSchindlinger
Views: 14658
Conservation The critically endangered Fuertes’s Parrot and eleven other globally threatened species of birds, mammals, and amphibians will receive greater protections thanks to a joint effort by Fundación ProAves, World Land Trust-US, Robert Giles, Loro Parque Fundación and American Bird Conservancy.

These organizations joined forces to acquire about 356 acres of land to double the size of the existing Giles-Fuertesi Nature Reserve. The reserve is managed by ProAves, ABC’s Colombian partner and the leading conservation organization in that country.

With fewer than 250 individuals thought to exist, the beautifully colored Fuertes's Parrot is one of the world’s rarest birds. Also known as the Indigo-winged Parrot, it was thought to be extinct for 90 years, but was rediscovered in 2002 when ProAves biologists, funded by an ABC grant, discovered a small population of about a dozen individuals living in fragmented and unprotected high-Andean cloud forests at the site of this reserve. The Fuertes’s sole breeding habitat remains a 19-square-mile area.

“The Fuertes’s Parrot is endemic to Colombia and exists only in the wild at two sites where it bizarrely depends on epiphytic mistletoe fruits,” said Lina Daza, Executive Director of FundaciónProAves, “so with our partners support to secure private lands for its conservation, we have ensured a new and important lease of life to this wonderful parrot and a major step away from the abyss of extinction.”

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New Australian Parrot Species Discovered
Sunday, December 19 2010 @ 12:06 PM UTC
Contributed by: MikeSchindlinger
Views: 10528
Conservation A team of Australian researchers has identified a new, critically endangered species of ground parrot in Western Australia.
By the BirdChannel.com News Division
Posted: December 15, 2010, 11:00 p.m. PST

Australian researchers have identified a new, critically endangered species of ground parrot in Western Australia.The team, led by Australian Wildlife Conservancy’s Dr. Stephen Murphy, used DNA from museum specimens up to 160 years old to reveal that populations of ground parrots in eastern and western Australia are highly distinct from each other and that the western populations should be recognized as a new species, Pezoporus flaviventris.

“The discovery has major conservation implications,” said Murphy in an Australian Wildlife Conservancy press release. “The Western ground parrot has declined rapidly in the last 20 years, there are now only about 110 birds surviving in the wild and most of these are confined to a single national park. It is now one of the world’s rarest birds.”

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World's only migratory parrots in peril
Thursday, May 20 2010 @ 01:52 PM UTC
Contributed by: MikeSchindlinger
Views: 9409
Conservation Two Australian parrots migrate annually over Bass Strait — a voyage that threatens their survival.

WHEN WE THINK OF animal migration, images come to mind of great herds of caribou moving across the tundra or of the dust rising on Africa's Serengeti under the hooves of thousands of wildebeest. But the true champions of migration are the birds.

Every year hundreds of millions of birds from massive storks and geese down to the tiniest hummingbird take to the wing on a journey into the unknown. The Arctic tern makes an annual pilgrimage from the Arctic Circle to the edge of the Antarctic pack ice and back again. And last year a ruddy turnstone (a dumpy shorebird about half the size of a chicken) was tracked on a 27,000 km round trip from Australia to Siberia and Alaska, at times flying for six days non-stop across the oceans.

This last weekend on World Migratory Bird Day (9 May), people gathered around the globe to celebrate the wonder of bird migration. Few would have had parrots in their thoughts, but here in Australia we have the world's only two long-distance migratory parrots.

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Mexico's Parrot Trade Exposed
Monday, April 27 2009 @ 12:52 PM UTC
Contributed by: Paul Brennan
Views: 7735
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: 5413
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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Illegal Mexican Parrot Trade Targeted by New Ban
Thursday, October 02 2008 @ 03:39 AM UTC
Contributed by: Paul Brennan
Views: 7519
Conservation Illegal Mexican Parrot Trade Targeted by New Ban
Alexis Okeowo in México City
for National Geographic News
October 2, 2008

A new permanent ban on parrot sales in Mexico may protect the country's exotic birds from a thriving illegal wildlife trade, conservationists say.

Mexico considers half of its 22 parrot species endangered, and all but two are protected by federal law.

But between 65,000 and 78,000 parrots and guacamayas—a bigger type of parrot—are captured illegally every year, and most of these birds die each year before reaching their intended buyers.

The government has been unable to control the clandestine capture and sale of the protected birds, environmentalists say.

The new ban—an amendment to Mexico's wildlife law—will eliminate the parrot and guacamaya market completely.

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