Hope for the heavily traded African Grey Parrot
African Grey parrots have been given vital protection by the UN, which recently voted to end all commercial trade in wild African Grey Parrots. One of the most traded animals in the world, more than 1.3 million are thought to have been implicated in the international wildlife trade since 1975. The loss of such large numbers to the wildlife trade has resulted in local extinctions, population collapses and range reduction. The situation had been made worse by countries exceeding recommended quotas for export. Whilst this is good news, more action needs to be taken in order to ensure the ban is enforced and in situ conservation projects initiated to preserve wild populations.
Facts about The African Grey Parrot
The African grey parrot is currently listed as endangered by the IUCN red list. The species is native to equatorial Africa, including Uganda, Angola and Cameroon. They are mostly frugivorous with most of their diet consisting of fruit, nuts, and seeds. Natural predators for this species include palm-nut vultures and raptors. In the wild African greys are thought to live to around 23 years, whilst in captivity life span is around 40-60 years. The species is monogamous (individuals have just one mating partner for life) with both parents looking after chicks until they are ready to leave the nest. African grey parrots in captivity have been observed to be susceptible to a range of health issues including fungal infections, bacterial infections, nutritional insufficiency, malignant tumours, psittacine beak and feather disease, tapeworms, and blood-worms. African grey parrots can are split into two distinct species, the Congo African grey (see below) and the Timneh African grey parrot, which is considered by some to be a subspecies of the Congo African grey. Timneh greys are distinguished by the possession of darker grey feathers and a maroon coloured tail.
African grey parrots are popular companion pets for people.
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