Target: Mpho Tjiane, South African Department of Environmental Affairs and CITES National Contact
Goal: End the international trade of the rare grey parrot to save it from extinction.
The grey parrot, a bird that makes itself at home in Africa’s rainforests, is nearing extinction because of its growing popularity in the international pet trade. Tens of thousands of them are captured every year and are sold for nearly $1,200 each. The birds are captured in groups by hunters who use decoys to distract the birds and nets to catch them. With only an estimated one percent of their historical population remaining, they are one of the most endangered birds on the continent, as well as the most highly traded.
The illegal international pet trade has been a major problem in Africa. It has led to the significant decrease of several different animal and plant species, including the grey parrot. An estimated $194 billion per year is made through the illegal trafficking of exotic animals. The animals are treated very cruelly throughout their capture and transport by the hunters, who are usually organized criminal groups.
At this year’s Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Johannesburg, South Africa, representatives of the different countries involved will debate the fate of the grey parrot. This will be the largest gathering of representatives ever. If a two-thirds majority of them agree to protect the bird, it will be banned from international trade in the pet market. Those in different countries who currently have the endangered parrot as a pet will be forced to register it.
Sign the petition to demand that Mr. Mpho Tjiane, South Africa’s CITES representative, support the measure to protect the grey parrot, ban it from the international pet trade, and prevent it from making the ever-growing list of extinct species.
Dear Mr. Mpho Tijane,
Your country is this year’s host of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, or CITES. At the convention, the fate of the endangered grey parrot will be debated and considered. The grey parrot is one of the most endangered birds in Africa and one of the most highly sought exotic birds in the international pet trade. Tens of thousands are captured every year and they are sold for roughly $1,200 each. Their value has led their population to severely decrease to only one percent of their original levels.
The nations in Africa and their very unique and rare animal and plant species have suffered severely from the organized crime within the international pet trade and trafficking of exotic animals. Thousands of animals are captured and mistreated, or even killed. However, at this year’s convention of which you are a part, the organization has the chance to protect at least one endangered species. I ask you to cast your vote for protecting the grey parrot, which will ban its trade and prevent it from going extinct.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Sandy Cole