Nov 272017
POLL: Should African Grey Parrots be protected from illegal trafficking?

African grey parrots are gorgeous birds who are well-known for their incredible intelligence that’s considered to be on the same level as a small child, and for their amazing ability to learn and mimic human speech. Unfortunately, the qualities that make us want them are also causing major problems for them. The demand for African […]

Oct 232016
International trade in African grey parrots banned

At a conservation meeting in South Africa last month, countries voted to ban all international commercial trade in wild-caught African grey parrots by including the species in the Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Captive-bred birds will be allowed to be traded, but only […]

Oct 062016
The grey parrot and the race against Africa’s wildlife extinction

Perry, a five-year-old African grey parrot, is for sale on a well-known pet trade website for £750. She looks in good condition with her large black bill, red tail and white mask and her owner says she can whistle the tune of Flower of Scotland, does a passable imitation of R2D2 and is “very clever […]

Apr 282016
POLL: Should the trade in wild birds be stopped?

Singapore plays a key role as a major international transshipment hub for the global aviculture industry, according to a new study by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the wildlife trade monitoring organization TRAFFIC. That’s especially true for trade in African grey parrots. African greys are highly sought-after as pets because they’re so smart and […]

Dec 102015
‘Catastrophic’ decline: nearly 99% of African grey parrots wiped out in Ghana

African grey parrots are known to be smart, talented mimics. Alex, one of the most well-known African grey parrots in the world, could mimic over 100 human words, differentiate between various shapes and numbers, and would even wish his trainer “goodnight”. Predictably, these birds are extremely popular as pets. But their popularity has taken a […]

Aug 202013
Illegally captured parrots finally free to fly

In 2010, Bulgarian airport authorities confiscated 108 African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus) from a smuggler. Last month, the 28 parrots who survived the stress of being stuffed into dog kennels, constantly handled by humans, and the absence of their native habitat, completed their three-year journey to freedom. The journey began late one afternoon in 2010, […]

Mar 212013
In East Africa: Empty Skies by Steve Zack

Mpala Research Centre, Kenya – I am back in East Africa for the first extended time since completing my graduate research 30 years ago. It’s a hugely exciting time to be working with our staff in shaping larger conservation efforts with vultures, flamingos, and African Grey Parrots. Between office and field visits, I witnessed for […]

Feb 212013
Flight of Freedom…

Some years ago, I used to think that an African Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus) would make a great pet… that is until I actually saw where they came from. Their roots lie deep within the lush rainforest and that is where they truly deserve to be. As these amazing and colourful birds effortlessly winged their […]