African Grey Parrot going to be classified as CITES I species

May 9th, 2016 | by LubosTomiska
African Grey Parrot going to be classified as CITES I species


African Grey Parrot breeders from the whole world will probably face to change in legislation. African country Gabun proposed to move African Grey Parrots from Appendix II of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) to Appendix I. This idea was supported by other five African countries and also European Union. Such change would mean to register all individuals living in captivity in countries which are part of CITES convention. This information was confirmed by Silva Ucova from the Czech Agency for Nature Conservation and Landscape Protection.



Autumnal CITES conference will decide

Final decision about reclassification of the African Grey Parrot should be taken on the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP17) in Johannesburg. “Proposal to reclassify Psittacus erithacus from Appendix II to Appendix I is one of the things which are going to be discussed there. It has been suggested to reclassify all individuals living in captivity, not just in some countries,” said Ucova for website

“Czech Republic supported this idea because of significant impact of illegal trade on the wild population,” she added. This change in legislation should apply also to Timneh Grey Parrot (Psittacus timneh).

Most probably United States are also going to support this reclassification. “If this proposal is approved then all changes in CITES law become effective in 90 days after the conference,” said Ucova. It means that all owners of African Grey Parrot should register their birds then.


Wild African Grey Parrot (c) Robert01.This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Germany license.


It is not the first time of African Grey Parrot compulsory registration

If African Grey Parrot is classified in Appendix I then all individuals need to have a closed ring or microchip. “Every individual living in countries which are part of CITES convention would have to be registered. However, some older birds had been already registered in the past and therefore breeders can use the old documents,” said Ucova. Up to the end of 2009 European breeders of African Grey Parrot had to register their birds. This obligation was then cancelled because of high number of these birds in captivity.

READ  Numbers of CITES I parrot species kept in the Czech Republic 2013/2014

“If proposal is approved CITES authorities will inform breeders about this change immediately so they can register their birds in lawful term,” said Ucova.

Why should be this species classified in Appendix I? According to CITES authorities, current classification in Appendix II does not provide sufficient protection of this species from the illegal trade. Because of that, wild populations are at the edge of extinction in many African countries. Wild caught individuals are also being transported to European Union.


Title photo: (c) L.Miguel Bugallo Sánchez. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled GNU Free Documentation License.



  1. Geoffrey Reynolds says:

    I am pleased that African Greys are about to be covered under CITES, this may help solve some of the problems that we encounter within the Parrot Rescue community.

  2. Melinda Livingstone says:

    I have a 30 year old African Gray that was USA breed in captivity. In fact I bought him as an egg and watched him grow into a 3 week old chick before I felt confident in feeding him myself. Took him home at 7 weeks. Would be very happy to register him and have the bill of sale from a very well established VA breeder. Hate the idea of captured wild birds and willing to do anything I can do to prevent the practice. Love my baby dearly and he will be a part of the family until I pass away at which time I have already arranged placement at a bird retirement place in Florida.

  3. Rick Jordan says:

    My concerns with this uplisting is that selling any CITES I listed parrot Internationally for pets etc. requires CITES Facility registration and proof that your stock was taken during legal times etc. No one has these old CITES documents on their stock and therefore no Grey facilities will be registered in the US. Thus, illegal trade will continue to fulfill the demand for this species because LEGAL trade will be impossible to qualify for under CITES commercial facility registration. I believe this uplisting will not benefit the wild birds very much. A good “on the ground” conservation effort in the native habitat makes much more sense, and possibly a new look at the way CITES regulates LEGAL trade before we make everything ILLEGAL.

    • Import/export bans, like proposed in this uplisting of the African grey species, have been proven to be very effective conservation tools.

      Several of the abundantly bred CITES I species now apply a waiver for the registration obligations (e.g. Kakariki and Blue-throated Conure) in domestic trade.


    Great Article. suggestions – I Appreciate the analysis . Does someone know where my company might find a fillable FR RLAUCC-1 form to work with ?

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