POLL: Should the wild bird trade in Vietnam be stopped?

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Thousands of birds, suspected to have been caught from the wild, are being sold openly in Vietnam, according to a new report by TRAFFIC, the monitoring network.

Many of the species on sale are threatened with extinction, warns the report.

In April 2016, researchers from TRAFFIC surveyed bird vendors — both shops and mobile sellers on motorcycles — in Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh City, two of Vietnam’s largest cities. Over just a period of three days, they recorded more than 8,000 birds of 115 species for sale.

Silver eared mesias for sale in Ha Noi. Photo by James Eaton / TRAFFIC.

Of these, the () and red-whiskered bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus) were the most common birds on display. The researchers also recorded nearly 500 birds of nine species that are currently listed as threatened or near threatened on the IUCN Red List.

Mobile sellers on motorcycles peddling birds. Photo by James Eaton / TRAFFIC.

The red-breasted parakeet (Psittacula alexandri), for example, was the fourth most common species on display during the survey. Until 2012, this bird was considered to be under no immediate risk of extinction (listed as Least Concern), but its populations have suffered “moderately rapid decline” due to trapping for the bird trade, according to the IUCN, raising its threat levels to “near threatened” on the Red List.

Other threatened birds that were on sale included the endangered sun parakeet (Aratinga solstitialis), the chattering lory (Lorius garrulus avopalliatus) and the (Lonchura oryzivora).

The report also found that the number of species and volume of birds for sale has increased since 2008. Songbirds are particularly popular, the researchers noted, their trade likely driven by competitions that are popular across several countries in Southeast Asia.

Juvenile red breasted parakeet for sale in Ha Noi, Vietnam. Photo by James Eaton / TRAFFIC.

Nearly all the birds that the team recorded were native to Vietnam. About 90 percent of these birds have no regulations governing their trade under Vietnamese legislation, suggesting that the trade is going unchecked, the report noted.

“The survey findings are consistent with a thriving demand for native birds within Vietnam,” Kanitha Krishnasamy, Acting Regional Director for TRAFFIC in Southeast Asia, said in a statement. “However, as trade in most of the species seen is not regulated by law, it means large numbers of birds are being extracted with no oversight of sustainability or how severely it will impact wild populations.”

Even when a species is protected under the national law, enforcement remains weak, the researchers write, largely because law enforcement officers lack the skills to identify bird species correctly.

To ensure that the bird trade does not harm wild populations, monitoring and regulation of the trade needs to improve, the researchers add. This would include strengthening the current Vietnamese legislation, as well as updating and reassessing the country’s protected species list. In particular, the report calls for including species that are at risk of extinction, including those listed as threatened in the IUCN Red List, to be added to Vietnam’s protected species list.

“TRAFFIC stands ready to support Vietnamese authorities in any effort to review and strengthen current regulations,” said Madelon Willemsen, Head of TRAFFIC’s Viet Nam Office. “We will continue to provide information on the levels of bird trade in Viet Nam. This critical knowledge will help to identify the need and urgency to adjust policies and regulations so that Viet Nam meets its international commitments on conserving biodiversity.”

This article written by by was first published by on 25 Sep 2017.

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Should the wild bird trade in Vietnam be stopped?

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Editorial Comment: The purpose of this poll is to highlight important wildlife conservation issues and to encourage discussion on ways to stop . By leaving a comment and sharing this post you can help to raise awareness. Thank you for your support.


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Annie Boulanger

Bien sûr. Laissez tous ces oiseaux en liberté !

Marie-France Durand


Joelle Jojo Mamour Barrier

v oui

Dette Charlier


Isabelle Fernandès

SONDAGE EN FIN D’ARTICLE : Nous vous invitons à partager votre avis si le commerce des oiseaux sauvages au Vietnam devrait être arrêté? Veuillez voter et laisser vos commentaires au bas de cette page.

Le commerce des oiseaux sauvages au Vietnam devrait-il être arrêté?

Oui (99%, 296 Votes)
Non (1%, 3 votes)
Ne sait pas (0%, 1 Votes)
Nombre total d’électeurs: 300

André Henrique R. Bacci

“One day the absurdity of almost universal human belief in the slavery of other animals will be palpable. Then we will have discovered our souls and become more worthy to share this planet with them.”

Shari Lynn Swanson


Roland Mills

Yes !!!

Bettina Ulloth

Ja auf jeden Fall.

Tim Walker

This is another example of free for all tampering with the biodiversity of this region. It is alarming that there is no official monitoring and subsequent survey of the effect on wild populations. The official explanation will doubtless lean towards cultural heritage, much like Malta and Cyprus who continue their slaughter of migrating birds, shame on the EU for turning a blind eye!

Jean Daniels


Linda Badham
Linda Badham

shocking and disgraceful and CRUEL !

Sheila Dunleavy

Yes yes yes.

Chris Galvin

The Wild Bird Trade on the whole planet should be stopped!

Kathleen Crabtree


Liau Chungshiu

Of course, it should be banned.

Jennifer Wilkes

I suppose it hasn’t helped the bird population when the US bombed and Napalmed the forests during the Vietman fiasco. War is deadly on the natural world.

Katey O Fiske


Isabel Silva

Yes of course

Rita Wooten


Linda Kane

This is so cruel to imprison these beautiful creatures. Fly Free!

Lisa Björklund


Michele Jankelow

How can this EVER be found acceptable?

Lindsay Leclair


Judy Rees

Dreadful. Signed.

Rakesh Arya

Yep, certainly…

Linda Bonicelli


Tracy Whitcomb