Finding Solutions

Parrots are as integral to the African landscape as elephants, lions and giraffes. Although several species are among the most popular companion birds, surprisingly little is known of these species in the wild. Where information does exist, the outlook is often far from positive, and there is an urgent need to increase conservation efforts in the region.



Introducing WPT's Africa Conservation Programme

The World Parrot Trust has initiated the Africa Conservation Programme (WPT-ACP), to safeguard the future of parrot populations. Along with assisting local partners, enforcing wildlife trade laws and ensuring confiscated parrots are managed responsibly and returned to the wild, the WPT-ACP aims to develop a number of exciting new directions that build on WPT's long history of work in Africa. More information on current initiatives can be found at Africa News.


Research & Conservation

New research and conservation programmes are being developed and are providing the knowledge needed to best conserve populations while at the same time taking actions to address immediate threats.



The Bijagós archipelago off the coast of Guinea-Bissau (a UNESCO Biosphere reserve) supports one of the most important remaining populations of Timneh parrots. In the archipelago Timneh parrots are now largely found on the smaller uninhabited islands and the few protected as national parks. Partnering with local groups WPT is working to develop research to determine the status of populations, find out what is needed to protect them and to collect the first data on aspects of their breeding biology and habitat requirements. Most importantly former parrot trappers from the islands are being employed to assist the collection of data, monitor nests and build support for conservation among local communities.



Education

Education programs aim to engage the people that live alongside parrots in their conservation. School-based population monitoring of Cape parrots in Limpopo, South Africa, will increase awareness of parrots and the threats they face. Building early connections with those living among parrots establishes an appreciation for the impact of individual actions on the natural world.

In Uganda, the success of the landmark release of Grey parrots on Ngamba island provides a great opportunity for education. The engaging and inspiring story of these parrots once again flying free helps communicate the impact that trapping for trade has on wild populations. This release gained considerable attention in Uganda and WPT is working with partners to build on this high profile to convey important conservation messages to children.



Wild Bird Trade

WPT is working to eliminate the unsustainable trade in wild-caught parrots by aiding confiscation efforts for illegal shipments of parrots, and rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing birds caught in the trade. Further efforts include encouraging the enforcement of laws that protect parrots, supporting local and international awareness and education programs, and funding research into better understanding the trade region by region. The decisions that affect populations are not only made at the grassroots level: WPT continues to ensure that decisions made under international conventions such as CITES are based on the best available information. Currently export quotas for many parrot populations in Africa lack the necessary scientific underpinnings and it is critical that in the face of uncertainty, appropriate management decisions are made.




And a great deal more...

There is much to be done, but with your help we hope to continue to develop these initiatives and others. First and foremost, there is a critical need to collect basic ecological information on many of the African parrots. Some species, such as the Niam-niam parrot, remain virtually unstudied and their true status remains unknown.

Other species, such as the Yellow-fronted parrot and Lilian's Lovebird, are restricted to tiny areas or are habitat specialists. And the Senegal parrot has been among the most heavily traded of all CITES listed birds. There is an urgent need to determine the impact of trapping on populations and what actions are needed.



Learn more about additional projects currently under way at www.parrots.org