Some parrot species available in the pet trade are endangered species in the wild. Such birds are are included on CITES, which is the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. Even if the parrot is common in captivity, it is still classified by CITES as endangered. If your bird is on the CITES List it is a legal requirement to have leg rings or microchips identifying it, and you must have the correct paperwork too. In the UK this is issued by DETR, the Department of the Environment, International Trade in Endangered Species Branch, in Bristol. Breeders will have this paperwork when you buy the bird.
The African Grey is one of many species on the CITES List
If the seller does not have the relevant documents, they should not be offering the bird for sale, as it is a criminal offence. It is also an offence to purchase such a bird.
Some of the commonest CITES birds encountered in the pet trade are listed below. (Note: for a complete list, contact DETR).
- Mullocan (Salmon-crested) Cockatoo
- Lesser sulphur-crested (Yellow-crested) Cockatoo
- Citron (Citron-crested) Cockatoo
- Palm Cockatoo
- Lilac-crowned (Finsch’s) Amazon
- Mexican Red-headed (Green-cheeked) Amazon
- Hyacinth Macaw
- Scarlet Macaw
- Military Macaw
- Red fronted Macaw
- Blue-throated Conure
- African Grey