Parrot Species Threat in Southern Africa.
As a result of the legal animal trade Southern African parrot species are under threat. This excludes poaching threat. There were around 18,000 protected species of wild plant and animal worth $340 million sold legally between 2005 and 2014.
At the top of the export list were live parrots. In 2005 the wild bird trade was at 50,000, and by 2014 it increased to over 300,000.
With 18 native parrot species in the SADC region, half have declining populations and three are globally threatened. The main exported species of parrot is the African Grey. This species is classified as vulnerable by the IUCN. The African Grey is a popular pet in the US, Europe, and Western Asia. Due to the increase in legal parrot trade the African Grey population is decreasing.
The director of the Africa conservation programme at the World Parrot Trust, Rowan Martin, finds the level of trade in wild-sourced grey parrots extremely worrying.
With the exportation of captive-bred birds increasing at an alarming rate it further stimulates the demand for pet grey parrots. Uninformed buyers thus purchase wild-caught parrots, because they are cheaper.
Furthermore the export of wild-caught parrots is being executed under the veil of captive-bred parrots.