Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The poster that may save India’s parrots

Blanket ban on trading in all Indian bird species
February 2012: A parrot in captivity is one of the more visible symbols of illegal trade in India, where all native wildlife receives full protection. To help enforcement officers identify native parrot species, TRAFFIC India has produced an identification poster.
Identification of parrots and other species in trade is a major challenge, but the new poster will help enforcement officers identify the 12 native Indian parrot species. The posters will be distributed to Police, Customs, Forest Departments, Railway Protection Forces, educational institutions such as schools and colleges.
Despite the blanket ban since 1990-91 on trade in all India's bird species, hundreds of parrots are collected and traded each year. They are taken from the wild and smuggled to various parts of the country and beyond. The bulk of the trade is in three to four week old chicks.
Huge demand in the pet tradeParrots are caught using nets and bird-lime. Adult parrots are traded throughout the year, with chicks arriving in trade between December and June. For every bird that reaches the market place, several are believed to die en route.
For centuries, parrots have been kept as pets mainly because they are straightforward to look after and easy to replace because of the large numbers in trade. This has in turn created demand that has led to an organised illegal trade in parrots.
Abrar Ahmed, ornithologist and a bird trade consultant to TRAFFIC India said: ‘The Alexandrine Parakeet is one of the most sought after species in the Indian live bird trade and is traded in large volumes throughout the year. The chicks are collected from forested areas and transported to bird markets in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Patna, Lucknow and Kolkata.

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