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COVID-19: A message From Executive Director, Jamie Gilardi

Jamie Gilardi, PhD | Mar 21, 2020


As I write today, I was meant to be on a plane heading for Puerto Rico, where our partners had planned to release a new group of parrots into the wild – a wonderfully hopeful step to aid the recovery of one of the world’s rarest birds, the Puerto Rican Amazon.  As it turns out, both Puerto Rico and my own county here in northern California, USA are now on ‘lockdown’ due to the coronavirus pandemic, so the release has been postponed for the time being. 

Aside from this hopefully brief delay, the inspiring news from Puerto Rico is that this species and its habitat, which were so devastated by Hurricane Maria, are very much on the mend.  Our colleagues there showed amazing dedication through the storms and a recent string of earthquakes. As a result, the parrots are now heading into another strong breeding season, adopting impressive numbers of nest boxes and natural cavities, determined to fledge another healthy batch of chicks in the coming months.

In the midst of this horrible pandemic which we’re all very much experiencing together - no matter where we find ourselves on the globe - I thought sharing this hopeful news from Puerto Rico would help reassure you all that, while we too have all been impacted by this crisis, our work continues and gives us all hope for the future of parrots, people, and our planet.

So we at the World Parrot Trust would like to take a moment to extend a message of solidarity and compassion to let you know that we are thinking of you, our valued members and supporters, and thinking of your feathered friends as well. We’re monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely as it unfolds and doing everything we can, to ensure our colleagues and field teams remain well and able to continue to help the parrots of the world.

As a non-profit organization with team members across the globe, most of us already work remotely. We are maintaining business as usual as we continue to help parrots in need, whether working from home or at remote field locations in Bolivia, Indonesia, Sierra Leone, Brazil and elsewhere.  Our staff has been vigilant in practicing exceptional hygiene and has been well-versed on symptoms to look out for to minimize all probabilities of exposure.

PsittaScene & the WPT eStore

With that said, pending any interruptions to mail delivery, WPT members who receive PsittaScene magazine should expect to receive their Spring issue as usual. We’ve also contacted our printer to ensure that proper precautions are being taken to minimize any potential risks to our members. And for those who are awaiting orders via our online stores, we will be in touch should there be any delays or issues with your fulfilment. We promise to do our very best to keep you informed as the situation evolves.

Is my bird safe?

As many of our supporters have companion parrots at home, we wanted to also provide a few words of comfort and reassurance that it appears this particular strain of the coronavirus cannot be transmitted to or from our parrot companions. For more information, visit the website of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention):

Thank you for your support!

While Coronavirus might occupy most minds and headlines, at WPT we know there is still much work to be done for the parrots of the world, we’re not about to stop anytime soon, and we deeply appreciate all your support which makes all our work possible! In the meantime, we want to wish you, your loved ones and your feathered companions good physical and mental health as we pull through this crisis together.

Warmest wishes from all of us at the World Parrot Trust,

Jamie Gilardi,
WPT Executive Director