Parrots are among the world's most exotic birds today, and almost one-third of parrot species are endangered. Their transportation to one location from another can further exacerbate the risk.
Statistics indicate that loss of habitat, along with the impact of a flourishing pet trade, are gradually pushing various parrot species close to extinction. The Orange-Bellied Parrot and Lear's Macaw are perhaps two of the most endangered parrots at the moment.
Cruelty In Capturing
Studies indicate that one of the primary reasons for the dwindling number of parrots is the horrifying process of capturing them for the pet trade. Often experts and animal rights enthusiasts have termed the process employed to capture these exotic parrots as simply barbarous. Whether you talk about laying mist nets or applying sticky chemicals on the branches, often the tricks employed in capturing these birds becomes the catalyst for their death.
Parrots are often victims of the very methods that are used to trap and trade them. They are generally very susceptible to noise and disturbances during travel. Sudden noise or movement can cause extreme trauma in these birds and further cut their lives short.
Lack Of Commitment
Commitment, or rather the lack of it, from people who buy these parrots in the U.S. is another key danger for these exotic birds. Unlike dogs and cats, there are many parrot species that live as long as 50 years or even more. While the traders are quick and nimble footed in capturing and trading them, providing sustained companionship for them becomes a problem. Most owners lose interest in their pets after a while and these birds are left to fend for themselves. The result of being abandoned is that these birds struggle to find habitat in a strange environment, often ending up getting electrocuted or killed by other animals or birds.
By 1992, rough estimates had pegged the importation of birds in the U.S. to close to 800,000. As a result, there was a complete embargo on importing any of these exotic birds. But sadly, this move failed to provide any sustainable solutions. Many of them died in this process, up to 60%.
While the influx of wild exotic parrots did reduce to a certain extent, breeding of these parrots within the U.S. border continued unabated. Many bird breeders leapt at the opportunity to make a quick buck. They decided to use these extreme laws to generate money that they lost by not being able to import them.
Tricked By Traders
Another major concern is the tricks that these traders use to trade these parrots. Not all parrots can be domesticated and kept as pets. However, given the huge demand for exotic parrots, many traders sold them unscrupulously as a source of entertainment. It took a while for the owners to realize that it was harder than they thought, or that the bird could not be domesticated, and thus went on to abandon them. These parrots languish in their cages for years and die a lonely death.
Therefore, the entire method of transportation and trade of exotic parrots in the United States is flawed and doing more harm than good to these pretty birds. If you want to see one, go to a zoo where they can have the room to fly, at least. Parrots should never become pets!