African Grey parrots at the edge of extinction in Ghana

November 30th, 2015 | by LubosTomiska
African Grey parrots at the edge of extinction in Ghana
Conservation projects

The African Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus) is the most favourite bird pet over the world. In Europe, USA, Asia, just everywhere thousands of these birds are traded every year. Many breeders are focused on breeding of this birds because demand on pet trade is high. That’s why poaching is not so intensive as it used to be in the past. However, it still exists.

A new study of African Greys found out that the wild population in Ghana is almost extinct and its size was reduced by 90-99% in comparison with previous research in 1992. The team of authors lead by Nathaniel Annorbah from Manchester Metropolitan University (United Kingdom) warn that these parrots can disappear from Gambia very soon if government won’t start protecting this species.



The annual export quota is being exceeded

Twenty years ago a similar study was made and found out that within the net of 42 cells (each of 100 square kilometres) there were between 700 and 1200 African Grey parrots at each location. In the latest study, researchers found just 18 birds in total.

Co-author of this study Nigel Collar said for „It’s pretty shocking. It’s very difficult to know what can be done.”



Illegal trade is still considerable threat for African Grey parrots (c) Lubomir Tomiska


The research team believes that 42% of birds are dying because of deforestation and 37% because of the pet trade. Unfortunately, we can observe similar trends in African Grey parrot populations in other countries of Western Africa.

The situation is slightly better in Central Africa.However, even there pet trade is really intensive John Hart of the Lukuru Foundation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo indicates that 12 000 – 18 000 African Grey parrots are being exported out of the country every year although the annual export quota is only 5 000 individuals.


Title photo: (c) L.Miguel Bugallo Sánchez. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.



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