Parrot breeders vs. authorities related to nature conservation

January 30th, 2015 | by LubosTomiska
Parrot breeders vs. authorities related to nature conservation

Repression of breeders by authorities related to nature conservation is quite common issue all around the world. As we believe that breeding of parrots has contribution for the society but for the nature conservation as well, we decided to include these problems to our daily news content. That’s some kind of attempt to start an international discussion among breeders. Unfortunately, in view of general public breeders are mostly considered as potential smugglers or are accused of cruelty to animals. We have never heard about successful breeding of some species in mainstream media, only about smuggling. That’s why this has to change. Parrots Daily News wants to provide different view on breeding of parrots for the general public.

Ecology, European Union and CITES. Those three words trigger some kind of worry in our minds. Paradoxical, it’s quite surprising as basic motivation and aims of breeders and authorities can be very similar. This first article is very general and explains both points of view.


The confiscated Lear’s Macaw. (c) CIZP


Breeding of parrots

Isn’t that amazing hobby? Every breeder appreciates when he can rest after his exhausting job in aviaries for a while and just observe the birds. Firstly, it’s some kind of relax. Secondly, it’s a creative avocation which enriches our education. Otherwise, how would we know that the Golden-shouldered Parakeet nest in termite mounds or that some parrots eat nectar? Would we have any idea how the parrot egg looks like? We can’t forget that our hobby doesn’t educate only us but other people as well. Just remember how many people visit your facility.

On the other hand, we have to admit that breeding of parrots can be very good business. Rarer species can cost the same price as a new car. That’s how the tendency of breeders to get their desirable species rises. Unfortunately, sometimes there is not any other way how to get the certain species than from the wild. We have to accept the objection that because of the breeders and pet owners, populations of several parrot species were significantly reduced. However, TODAY the most important threat for most of animal species all around the world is deforestation and disturbation of their natural habitats. Anyway, imports to European Union were stop in 2004. At this moment we have many species in here and we breed most of them. In few cases, their numbers are actually higher than in the wild.


The confiscated Red-tailed Amazon. (c) CIZP


According to the last sentence, breeders don’t have to be concerned about the situation in the wild as we have relatively enough in captivity. Import is stop so we probably won’t get any bigger shipment of birds anyway. The problem is that we are not the one who dictate terms. Authorities related to nature conservation do that. How effective is their work and what is their basic motivation?

We can state that basic aim of an every breeder is to keep and reproduce animals. The basic motivation of all people related to nature conservation should be saving of some piece of nature (in this case parrot species) on our planet. However, this primary interest totally disappears at the level of European Union and the chaotic byrocracy has replaced it. So now in reality, it seems that authorities don’t try to save species but it mostly looks like they just follow some orders and nobody actually knows where these orders come from.



The confiscated Palm Cockatoo (c) CIZP


Today, ecology is more about politics than about basic and primary motivation to save nature. I could mention a very nice example about confiscation of parrots by the Czech Environmental Inspectorate. What is the purpose? Well, breeders should realize that if they will try to get parrot by smuggling or any other illegal way, they will be punished. I have no objections! Even today, when imports are stopped and many traders smuggle parrots in disgusting conditions to European Union. However, the important part is the following procedure. The breeder is punished and what then? What about confiscated birds? Immediately after consifcation birds are brought to registered rescue centers (ZOOs, birdparks, …) which were chosen by the authority. Unfortunately, these places are often not equipped to breed such birds and these parrots die there very often. Quite a paradox, right? We save parrots from bad breeders so we can put them to inappropriate facility to die.

Yahoo, we arrested another smuggler and the future of parrots in the wild is much brighter then it used to be,“ said the spokesperson from the authority. It’s a nice example of byrocracy. Very often, we are mad about administration byrocracy when we have to fill the tax return. However, now we talk about live animals and we can’t save the species when we will take them from breeders and  let them die.


The confiscated Hyacinth Macaw (c) CIZP


Current situation

I guess I’m not the only one who noticed rising pressure from the side of european authorities on breeders of exotic animals. Their motivation is basic – we are the smugglers and we are the cause of the current situation in the wild. Actually, authorities don’t consider that in case of many species, most of individuals are kept in captivity, not in the wild. However, they can argue that for them important is situation in the wild, not in the captivity. Then I ask simply – where these animals should live? Unfortunately, they often loose their fight with the human and can’t defend their terrritories. It’s sad reality. I support all conservation projects and hopefully we will save many species but shouldn’t we have some kind of „safety lock“? What if conservationists won’t be successful? What if deforestation will lead to extinction of many species (as it currently happens)? Maybe one time the individuals kept in captivity will be the last of its kind on whole planet.

On following examples I will explain what impact could have the repression of private breeders on parrots conservation. The Mitchell’s Lorikeet (Trichoglossus mitchellii) lives (maybe not anymore) on Bali and Lombok in Indonesia. However, nobody has seen it on local bird markets for more than 2 years. Both islands became popular tourist destinations and that’s how Mitchells lost their natural habitat. Another example is the Red and Blue Lory which is critically endangered in the wild and has to be registered within CITES. We have several good breeding pairs in Europe which can be a base for a breeding project. Of course, they are mostly in collections of private breeders. If those breeders will be still restricted by european authorities, how the mentioned species can survive when they are almost extinct in the wild?



The confiscated Yellow-crowned Amazon (c) CIZP


Somebody considers ZOOs as the place where species should be saved. In a simplified way we can state that in case of middle sized animals it’s necessary to have a population about size of 500 individuals so there is a good chance for species to preserve. However, even if we have 10 ZOOs which are specialised in breeding of certain species, they don’t have sufficient capacity to cover it. Cooperation with private breeders is unavoidable so.

It’s obvious that interests of breeders and authorities related to nature conservation can overlap. Wouldn’t be good to cooperate? Maybe it’s actually the only way how to save many species. I don’t expect that authorities will start asking breeders for help but somebody has to start this cooperation otherwise the future of breeding animals in Europe is doubtful as well as the survival of many species on our planet.

Author: Lubos Tomiska

Title photo: (c) CIZP



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Parrot News Blog | Parrots Daily News

Follow by Email8k