BIRD NEWS: Source
Parrot groups slam grey ‘sellout’
THE WORLD PARROT Trust (WPT) and other conservation groups have expressed their anger over the failure to stop the export of wildcaught African greys from Cameroon and Congo. Backed by a 41,000-signatory petition, the groups lobbied the recent 62nd meeting of the standing committee of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) in Geneva.
A disappointed Cristiana Senni of the WPT said: “Despite the best of efforts of the WPT, CITES’ ruling ultimately failed to protect the birds from unsustainable trade, ignoring sound science, global public opinion and the terms of their own convention.” She added: “Rather than ruling to protect these threatened species [Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List] they instead chose to reopen trade from Cameroon, allowing 3,000 birds a year to now be legally exported from that country.
“As a result 6,000 birds will be taken from the wild, and roughly 50 per cent of these birds die between trapping and export. “CITES also failed to suspend trade from the Democratic Republic of Congo, despite Congo’s repeatedly exceeding their annual quota of 5,000 birds.” A spokesperson for Eurogroup for Animals (EA), the leading EU-level animal non-governmental organisation (NGO), said: “African grey parrots have been sold out by CITES.
The chair of the standing committee ignored requests by NGOs to take the floor. “The committee failed to be transparent and to thoroughly examine the science.” The chairman admitted only scanning a report by the Cameroon government, which the NGOs say was based on poor science. Ms Senni said: “The field survey submitted by Cameroon was based on a very poor methodology.” The EA spokesperson added: “This is very bad news for this parrot species.”