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History & Accomplishments

The World Parrot Trust (WPT) was founded in 1989 with an ambitious vision: To help save wild parrots from extinction and to ensure that companion parrots live long, healthy and happy lives. 

Over the years WPT has grown to become a global force that moves quickly to aid urgent initiatives and support long-term projects. In over two decades of effort the Trust has led conservation and welfare projects in 42 countries for 66 species of parrot.

Today, WPT is one of the world’s largest member-based parrot conservation and welfare organizations with national branches in ten countries. Its educational print and web-based resources are utilized by tens of thousands of parrot enthusiasts each month, and its uniquely effective approach produces substantial and long-lasting results.

Project Highlights:

A quarter century of WPT accomplishments in: Conservation, Research, Welfare and Education.

Conservation: Saving Endangered Species

Hope Restored for Echo Parakeets

The conservation of the Echo Parakeet was the Trust's first major project - a timely effort as the population had dwindled to just 12 birds. In 1990 the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust (now the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust) invited the World Parrot Trust, along with the Mauritian government and the Mauritius Wildlife Foundation, to support Dr. Carl Jones and his team to save the Echo Parakeet on Mauritius.  After over 30 years of effort managing captive and wild breeding the population now numbers nearly 600.

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Echo Parakeet

Conserving the World's Rarest Wild Macaw

Wild populations of the Blue-throated Macaw number less than 130 due to trapping for the bird trade.  Over the past decade WPT has concentrated its efforts to stabilize the population, while gaining insight into the  reproduction issues which hinder its recovery.  More recently a reintroduction program using healthy captive-bred birds was begun.

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Blue-throated Macaw

The Caribbean's Gem: Yellow-shouldered Amazon

With an estimated wild population in the low thousands the Yellow-shouldered Amazon is Vulnerable in the wild due to habitat loss, drought, predation and intense poaching. For the past decade WPT has supported a series of projects - conservation, awareness and research-oriented - to help stabilize the population.

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Yellow-shouldered Amazon

Parrot Action Plan

The enormous task of crafting a Parrot Action Plan to identify the world's rarest parrots fell to some of the most accomplished minds in the parrot world.  Underwritten, orchestrated and published by WPT and IUCN in 2000, this publication profiles the world's rarest parrots, identifies the issues affecting their survival and provides recommendations for their conservation.  The plan has guided researchers and conservation managers in designing suitable strategies to save parrots.

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Parrot Action Plan


Field Research: Discovering the Lives of Wild Parrots

The Rare and Flamboyant Palm Cockatoo

The Palm Cockatoo is losing vital nesting trees in the wild through deforestation  - approximately one-quarter of all nest sites have disappeared at Cape York, Australia. WPT supported monitoring and tracking of birds, observing nest sites, studying breeding ecology and surveying the population over the last decade.

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Palm Cockatoo

Unique Burrowing Parrot: Patagonian Conure

Patagonian Conure populations are suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction and unsustainable levels of exploitation. Since 1998, WPT has helped researchers to conduct surveys and review the conservation status of the birds, educate local people on the value of the species, and protect vital cliff habitat for breeding.

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Patagonian Conure

Cape Parrots: African Parrots Disappearing

The Cape Parrot has undergone a population collapse over the last 50 – 100 years. Since the mid-1990s WPT has supported the work of a number of scientist/conservationists to determine the distribution, status and abundance of Cape parrots, study the diet and state of food resources in study area, research nesting requirements and success, study parrot habitat suitability, and and learn about the areas where Cape parrots face greatest threats.

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Cape Parrot

Welfare: Ending the Wild-Caught Trade, Returning Parrots to the Wild

Mimics of the Bird World: Grey Parrots

Formerly widespread over much of tropical Africa, Grey Parrots are now threatened throughout much of their natural ranges and are disappearing from many countries. Beginning in 2001, WPT has supported ongoing studies on Grey parrot behaviour and the effects of poaching.  From 2008 WPT has been working with local NGOs and officials to reduce the trade in wild-caught Greys and rescue, rehabilitate and return them to the wild.

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Grey Parrot

FlyFree: Rescuing and Restoring Confiscated Birds

The trade in wild caught birds has threatened many species around the globe and has caused the suffering and loss of millions of birds. In response to the urgent need to stop the practice the World Parrot Trust launched the FlyFree campaign in 2009, highlighting its destructive effects and gaining worldwide support to end it. The focus has been on direct action: enforcing wildlife laws and confiscating parrots from traders.  More recently the Trust has provided urgent funding and coordinated veterinary assistance to help almost 5000 confiscated parrots, aiding their eventual return to the wild.

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The European Union Trade Ban

In 2007 WPT celebrated the culmination of seven years of sustained effort that brought about the end of the wild bird trade in the European Union – a legislative victory that has saved the lives of millions of individual birds each year. Since then an estimated 30-40 million birds have been spared from the trade.

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EU Trade Ban

Education: Spreading Awareness

Educational Buses

For the island of St. Lucia WPT provided the Jaquot Express – a retrofitted bus with educational toys, videos and displays for children to earn about the parrots of the area. Once completed the bus was shipped out to staff of the island's forestry department. The bus travelled all over the island, visiting schools and public areas, telling the story of the Endangered St. Lucia Amazon and Red-necked Amazon and what had to be done to save them from extinction.  WPT also provided a bus for the island of St. Vincent, to help draw attention to the Vulnerable St. Vincent Amazon.

Learn more (St. Lucia Amazon) »
Learn more (Red-necked Amazon) »
Learn more (St. Vincent Amazon) »

St. Vincent Amazon

Mexican Trade Ban

Educational efforts to halt this massive trade were recently initiated by the World Parrot Trust and its partner in Mexico, Defenders of Wildlife.  The effort is aimed at stopping the local trade in parrots through a poster and comic book campaign. Parrots are still traded in the open in Mexican markets and this initiative focuses on educating the public to understand that: it is illegal to buy parrots, buying is part of the illegal trade, and, buying kills parrots. The posters include a series of comic images and paintings depicting endangered species. The main message is "You Can Save It – Don’t Buy Wild Parrots." WPT has helped produce seven different posters for this series – two macaws and seven Amazon parrots, all of which are endangered. So far, six different images have been completed and distribution has begun.

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Mexico Trade Ban Website

WPT's seven-thousand page website is full of species information for all 360+ species of parrot, expert advice on companion care, scientific articles, photographs, and audio and video links.

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PsittaScene Magazine

PsittaScene is the quarterly magazine published by the World Parrot Trust. Each issue has regular updates on the work being carried out by the WPT, along with reports from the field. The magazine also covers topics relating to bird behaviour and care in captivity.

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PsittaScene Magazine

Flock Talk Newsletter

Our monthly email newsletter, launched in September 2007, highlights in short articles the projects of the Trust, companion parrot care, enrichment and behaviour tips, and ecological facts on wild parrots.

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Flock Talk Newsletter

Brochures and Pamphlets

WPT also provides several brochures - Happy, Healthy Parrot, Manifesto for Aviculture, and 20 Years of Saving Parrots - that detail the philosophy, work and aims of the Trust.

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WPT Brochures