Conservation...

Conservation...

Conservation...Coxen's Fig ParrotPBFD

Parrots represent only about 3% of the 9,000 bird species that exist today (about 350 species). However, very sadly, they possess the largest number of threatened species of any bird family.

About 90 parrot species are recognised at risk of global extinction. The situation is worst in South America and the Caribbean with 44 species, nearly a third of the total from that region, considered at risk of extinction.

 
The principal threats faced by parrots in their natural environment are habitat loss and collection of birds for the live bird trade. A very large proportion of 90 threatened species, as listed on CITES Appendix 1, are negatively affected by loss, fragmentation and degradation of habitat through activities such as destructive forest clearing, logging, heavy grazing and seasonal burning.

Habitat loss is the most serious threat with some parrots now confined to small fragments of their original habitat. Parrots restricted to small areas, or existing in small populations are at particular risk from droughts, storms, disease and live bird trapping.

Australia – Since the first European settlement, about 200 years ago, there has been an environmental impact on all habitats within Australia. None has been completely destroyed but some, particularly the tropical rainforests, have been severely depleted. The changes brought about by human activity have inevitably impacted on the parrot species found in Australia.

A few species, such as the Galah, have benefited; others seems to be little affected while some certainly seem to be declining and are of conservational concern.

The plight of the Orange-bellied parrot (Neophema chrysogaster), the Night parrot (Geopsittacus occidentalis), the Golden-shoudered parrot (Psephotus chrysopterygius) and the Swift parrot (Lathamus discolor) are well known in Australian avicultural circles.

But less known is that a number of the Black Cockatoo species and some of the parrots commonly held in Australian aviaries are recorded vulnerable on CITES Appendix 1 including the ever popular Scarlet-chested parrot (Neophema spendida), and the beautiful Superb parrot (Polytelis swainsonii).

PARROT SOCIETY
It is with this as a backdrop, that the Parrot Society embarked many years ago on programs to financially support parrot conservation and research.

One of our early endeavours was financial support for the captive recovery program of the critically endangered Coxen’s Fig Parrot.

More recently our members have generously donated to a Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD) Research Fund set up by the Parrot Society. That fund was closed in late 2005 and the monies handed over to the School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Murdoch University, in Perth, Western Australia.