PETITION: Tell CITES to end trade in wild African Grey Parrots!
Thousands of wild African Grey Parrots are being trapped each year to fuel the overseas pet trade. The trade is driving the species to extinction, and it has to stop.
From September 24 to October 5, 2016, representatives from around the world will meet in Johannesburg, South Africa, at the 17th Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP17). There they will decide how wildlife can - and can't - be traded around the world. Alongside Elephants, Rhinos and Lions, the fate of another iconic African species - the Grey Parrot - will be hanging in the balance.
Once widespread throughout Africa, over 1.3 million Grey Parrots have been legally exported over the past four decades. Many parrots are poorly treated and die before export; as a result, the true number of parrots taken from the wild is estimated at well over 3 million. A recent study in Ghana reported a severe decline in population in recent years of 90-99%. In the Congo Basin, falling numbers are driving trappers to move into ever more remote areas to find parrots to catch.
Despite collapses in numbers, much of this trade remains legal.
A number of African countries have recognised the crisis and are leading efforts to give these beautiful birds maximum protection under international law. We're just days away from a major meeting of the world’s governments where the fate of these parrots will be decided. Making international trade illegal would help safeguard the African Grey Parrot’s future.
Now is our chance to urge all Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES) to support this action and protect this Globally Threatened Species from the unsustainable pressure of trapping.
The survival of wild Grey Parrots is in the hands of CITES.
The World Parrot Trust will be in attendance at the meeting to support the process; by signing the petition, you will add your voice to ours.
Message to CITES: Move the Grey Parrot to Appendix I and end the trade in wild birds of this Globally Threatened Species for good.
Please sign your name, share with your friends, and help us save thousands of wild parrots today!
- CITES Parties in attendance at CoP17
We the undersigned respectfully encourage you to support the proposal by Gabon, Angola, Chad, Guinea, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo, the EU and the USA to transfer African Grey parrots (P. e. erithacus and P. e. timneh) to CITES Appendix I.
In addition to the World Parrot Trust, the proposal is also supported by many leading conservation organisations including BirdLife International, TRAFFIC, WWF International and the Wildlife Conservation Society.
Wild African Grey parrot populations have undergone massive reductions as a result of unsustainable exploitation for global trade. In 2012 this species was designated as a Globally Threatened Species on the IUCN Red List due to rapid declines. More recent studies have shown that populations have collapsed by up to 99% in some areas, causing trappers to move into increasingly remote locations to sustain exports.
Over 1.3 million Grey parrots have been reported in exports to CITES since 1975, but with many dying, and many more being illegally exported, the number of wild birds impacted is considerably higher. Violations of CITES procedures have led to quotas being massively exceeded over a prolonged period. The species meets the criteria for transfer to Appendix I and a halt of all legal commercial trade is clearly in the best interests of the conservation of the species.
In addition, African Grey parrots readily breed in captivity, negating the need and justification for continuing trade in wild parrots. Large numbers are already held as breeding stock and captive-breeding can meet demand for pet birds.
In conclusion, the uplisting of the African Grey parrot to Appendix I is a necessary and appropriate response to address the threat currently posed by international trade in wild specimens. We call on CITES Parties to support this action to prevent further declines in this globally threatened species.
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