Trafficking could make African grey parrots become extinct

The African grey parrot population in the wild is dwindling at a rate of 21 per cent every year. Found in West and Central Africa, the birds are sold by illegal wildlife traders as exotic pets, and their natural habitat is being destroyed. Licensing policies and practices regulating ownership of the parrots are not widely known and rarely implemented.

The birds face extinction in Ghana, with almost the entire population lost to trafficking. In other countries, numbers have decreased by over 50 per cent. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) – the parrot’s last natural habitat – poachers are trafficking the last of them. In April this year, a Congolese smuggler was arrested in Uganda with 122 parrots and sentenced to seven years in prison.

In 2017, the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) moved the African grey to the list of species threatened with extinction, which prohibits trading except under…

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