Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Protection for Mexican Wild Parrots

Mexico is banning the capture and trade of its wild parrots.

President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa has signed into law a bill to ban the capture and export of Mexican wild parrots. The bill, introduced one year ago by the Environment Commission of the Deputy Chamber, was passed in the Mexican Senate on 22 April, 2008 with near unanimous support (66 votes in favor, 0 votes against, and 1 abstention).

The bill was originally drafted after a presentation of the 2007 report "The Illegal Parrot Trade in Mexico: A Comprehensive Assessment" by Defenders of Wildlife and Teyeliz, A.C. The report revealed for the first time the volume of the illegal trade of parrots within Mexico. An estimated 65,000 -78,500 wild parrots and macaws are captured illegally each year, with more than 75 percent of the birds dying before ever reaching a purchaser. Approximately 50,000 to 60,000 parrots die this way each year in Mexico alone....

Mexico is home to 22 species of parrots and macaws, of which six are found nowhere else in the world. Approximately 90 percent of all parrots and macaws found in Mexico are in some category of risk. The latest Mexican classification (yet to be published) lists 11 species as endangered, five as threatened, four as requiring special protection, and two as unclassified.

Of course, a lot will depend on enforcement, but it is good news nonetheless.