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Flock Talk, World Parrot Trust eNewsletter

June 2009 | Issue 22


Dear Reader,

Every day we see news about animal abuse cases, animal heroes and the like. Unfortunately the abuse cases seem to outnumber the happy stories -- so we've decided to include a good story in this issue; we'll talk about our involvement with the VSPCA, an animal rescue group in India that truly has their hands full. In spite of that, they have saved thousands of animals.

We'll also talk about Cape Parrots and their status in the wild, volunteering for a WPT field project, aggressiveness in a captive Jardine's Parrot pair, preventing accidents with our beloved pets, and more.

Best wishes,
Desi Milpacher, Flock Talk editor

Species Profile

Cape Parrot

Cape Parrot

More information about the Cape Parrot »

WPT Project »

Genus: Poicephalus
Species: robustus robustus

Where found: E Republic of S Africa, from Knysna and E Cape Province to Natal, W Kwazulu, W Swaziland, and SE Transvaal.

Ecology: Found in mangroves, riverine woodlands, savanna woodland, montane forests at 3750m (12,300ft) and lowland forest.

Population: 1,000 - 1,500
Status: Least concern

Threats: Has suffered severe declines because of illegal wild bird trapping, habitat loss and degradation, and persecution by farmers. There is support by several groups to have the Cape Parrot recognized as a separate species, thereby allowing their threat status to be elevated from Least Concern to Critically Endangered.

Blue-throated Macaw Project

Call for volunteers

For all of the intrepid out there: the WPT-supported Blue-throated Macaw Project, led by Dr. Igor Berkunsky, is in need of five volunteers for the months of August 2009 through to January 2010.

Workers will be conducting nest searches, guarding active nests from predators, climbing trees and other exciting and important activities.

All of this is in aid of the lovely Blue-throated Macaw, the most critically endangered wild macaw left in the world.

More information on how to help save endangered Blue-throats »

Blue-throated Macaw

Frequently Occurring Pet Bird Accidents and How to Evade Them

By WPT Expert EB Cravens

EB Cravens

Mishaps -- they happen to all of us, our family members and our pets. The trick in life is to try to prevent them before they occur. WPT Bird Expert EB Cravens provides some practical and sound advice to help us all protect our avian loved ones.

Read the article (PDF) »

Tribute to Diana Holloway

Parrot lover, indeed

The companion bird community lost a true friend, Diana Holloway, on January 19, 2009. Diana was very involved in various bird organizations -- The Amazona Society, AFA -- and was a Tanygnanthus Society founder. She also found time to serve as a board member of several avian events, and provided support to a number of avian rescues.

WPT Executive Director James Gilardi, Ph.D states, "I had the pleasure of meeting Diana a number of times at conferences over the years. She was always a super positive and genuine person, totally focused on the birds. Her deep understanding of and delight for parrots was as infectious as it was inspiring." All who knew her wholeheartedly agree.

Learn more about Diana's work »

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Parrot Experts

James Gilardi, Ph.D:
Parrot Corridors and Conservation »

Glenn Reynolds:
Male Eclectus losing feathers from upper breast »

Ellen K. Cook, DVM:
Air purifiers »

Parrot Headlines

Threatened cockatoos released after time at rehab centre »

Parrot protection pushed back: Garrett »

British tourist's passport stolen by parrot in New Zealand »

Wilderness protection for Riverland park »

New rainforest reserve in Congo benefits bonobos and locals »



1) Which cockatoo is the smallest in size?

2) What does a wild Caica Parrot (Pionopsitta caica) eat?

3) What is unique about the Rufous-fronted Parakeet (Bolborhynchus ferrugineifrons)?

4) Where does the name "mulga" come from with the Mulga Parrot (Psephotus varius)?

5) How do Desmarest's Fig Parrots (Psittaculirostris desmarestii) nest?

6) True or false: The Red-breasted Parakeet (Psittacula alexandri) has not been traded often on the wild bird market.

7) What has the Blue Lorikeet (Vini peruviana) been seen doing in the wild?

Check the answers from last month's quiz »

For more information visit the Parrot Encyclopedia »


Operations in India to Rescue Parrots

The VSPCA's Vital Work

VSPCA VSPCA -- the Visakha Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals -- is dedicated to the rescue of domestic and exotic animals, large and small. Their main place of work is in the city of Visahapatnam and its surrounding areas, as well as a number of districts in Andhra Pradesh, in India.

The World Parrot Trust has begun funding their important work, which includes the rescue of parrots in distress. Recently, VSPCA's team made a number of raids, at some personal danger, in various pet shops and tourist areas. They were able to rescue five parrots, with more to come. VSPCA also has an education program, aimed at advising the public about the plight of these animals.

VSPCA's Website »

VSPCA's YouTube Channel »

Aggressive Display in Adult Jardine's Parrots

By Werner Lantermann

Guest columnist Werner Lantermann provides a rare personal insight into the behaviour of a captive pair of Jardine's Parrots (Poicephalus gulielmi) and the sometimes aggressive behaviour towards their human care-givers.

Read the article (PDF) »

Events, Donations and Other Good Things

Creative people supporting World Parrot Trust projects

Special thanks to Danielle Cawthorne, who hosted the Canadian Parrot Workshop 2009: The Ten Things Your Parrot Wants You to Know featuring Dr. Susan Friedman, Ph.D and Barbara Heidenreich in Barrie, Ontario, Canada. The workshop raised $350.00 for the Canadian World Parrot Trust.

Thanks also to the Eastern Canada Avian Association for their recent fundraising efforts in advance of their conference in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada to be held in August. Mark Hagen of Hagen Avicultural Institute has generously offered to match the amount raised.

Special Events

WPT's 20th Year Anniversary Celebration at Paradise Park
June 30, 2009

2009 Animal Education Foundation Symposium
July 18-19, 2009

Dr. Susan G. Friedman's Living and Learning Workshop
July 19, 2009

Eastern Canada Avian Association Gala
August 22, 2009

Mt. Barney Lodge Birdweek
September 9, 2009

2009 Parrot Lover's Cruise
October 24, 2009

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