Inside the Secret Trade That Threatens Rare Birds
Singapore is a major transit hub for trade in threatened birds, especially African grey parrots.
Singapore plays a key role as a major international transshipment hub for the global aviculture industry, according to a new study by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the wildlife trade monitoring organization TRAFFIC. That’s especially true for trade in African grey parrots.
African greys are highly sought-after as pets because they’re so smart and talkative. (Alex, who lived with scientist Irene Pepperberg for 30 years, had a vocabulary of more than a hundred words and a mind-blowing range of cognitive skills beyond.) They’re native to Equatorial Africa, but populations are declining throughout their range. Although millions of African greys have been bred in captivity, demand for wild-caught birds remains high, and they’re especially vulnerable because they