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Parrot Conservation – USA Protects 3 Cockatoos under the Endangered Species Act

Cockatoo in treeThe US Fish and Wildlife Service has taken action on a proposal originally filed by Friends of Animals in 2008.  Three of the affected species are popular in the pet trade – the Umbrella or White Cockatoo (Cacatua alba), the Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo (C. sulphurea) and the Red-Vented or Philippine Cockatoo (C. haematuropygia).  The Crimson Shining Parrot (Prosopeia splendens) was denied Endangered Species Act (ESA) protection.

ESA Protection Denied for 8 Parrot Species

The original application filed by Friends of Animals sought ESA protection for 8 additional species, including the Military, Scarlet, Blue-Headed, Great Green and Hyacinth Macaws, the Yellow-Billed and Red-Crowned Parrots and the Grey-Cheeked Parakeet.  Of these, only the 3 cockatoos listed above and the Crimson Shining Parrot were selected by the US Fish and Wildlife Service as warranting further consideration.

Cockatoos Protected; Further Information Sought

Studies were initiated, and on August 9, 2011 the US Fish and Wildlife Service issued its recommendations.  The Sulphur-Crested and Red-Vented Cockatoos are now proposed for listing as Endangered and the Umbrella Cockatoo as Threatened.  Poaching and habitat loss were identified as the major causes for continuing population declines.  Please see the article below for the full text of the Service’s opinion.

The Service is now requesting additional information on the natural history, population status and conservation needs of these 3 species.  Interested parties can submit observations here.  The comment period will remain open until October 11, 2011.

Crimson Shining Parrot Population Stable

Philippine cockatoo
The aptly-named Crimson Shining Parrot is limited in range to 2 tiny islands within theFijichain.  However, re-forestation projects are underway and the birds have also been observed utilizing farmland and village outskirts.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service decided that protections afforded by the government of Fiji, theUSA’s Wild Bird Conservation Act and a CITES II listing are sufficient to ensure this parrot’s survival, and therefore did not list it as an endangered or threatened species.



Further Reading

Full text of the US Fish and Wildlife decision

US Fish and Wildlife Service YouTube Channel

The Natural and Unnatural History of the Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo

Cockatoo in tree image referenced from wikipedia and originally posted by Tatiana Gerus
Philippine Cockatoo image referenced from wikipedia and originally posted by Patrick Gijsbers

About Frank Indiviglio

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I believe that I was born with an intense interest in animals, as neither I nor any of my family can recall a time when I was not fascinated by creatures large and small. One might imagine this to be an unfortunate set of circumstances for a person born and raised in the Bronx, but, in actuality, quite the opposite was true. Most importantly, my family encouraged both my interest and the extensive menagerie that sprung from it. My mother and grandmother somehow found ways to cope with the skunks, flying squirrels, octopus, caimans and countless other odd creatures that routinely arrived un-announced at our front door. Assisting in hand-feeding hatchling praying mantises and in eradicating hoards of mosquitoes (I once thought I had discovered “fresh-water brine shrimp” and stocked my tanks with thousands of mosquito larvae!) became second nature to them. My mother went on to become a serious naturalist, and has helped thousands learn about wildlife in her 16 years as a volunteer at the Bronx Zoo. My grandfather actively conspired in my zoo-buildings efforts, regularly appearing with chipmunks, boa constrictors, turtles rescued from the Fulton Fish Market and, especially, unusual marine creatures. It was his passion for seahorses that led me to write a book about them years later. Thank you very much, for a complete biography of my experience click here.
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