Did you know parrots are among some of the most threatened groups of birds worldwide? Out of 398 species, 111 are classified as globally endangered on the IUCN Red List. The most widespread threats to these fascinating animals are habitat destruction, fragmentation and wildlife trafficking for the pet trade. Between 1990 and 1994 alone, nearly 2 million parrots were traded on the world market.
Since World Parrott Day began in 2004, the World Parrot Trust championed a petition to ban the trade of wild birds in Europe through the EU and in 2006 the petition was successfully passed. This has saved an estimated 30-40 million parrots that would have otherwise found themselves in the pet trade! Here at ZooTampa you can visit over a dozen different species of parrots and learn about their many unique adaptations.
Meet Ernie, a Palm Cockatoo. Male Palm Cockatoos use sticks to “drum” on trees to attract females. They are the only animal species known to deliberately create a rhythm and use a tool to do so. You can visit Ernie, in the Wallaroo realm of the Zoo.
ZooTampa is the only facility in the United States to house Red-browed Amazon parrots, an endangered species endemic to east Brazil. These large, curious birds are often found exploring their habitat. You can visit the Red-browed amazons in the Main Aviary and if you’re lucky you will hear their distinctive ‘laughing’ call, particularly just before a big rain storm.
ZooTampa is also home to 5 species of macaws. These colorful and bright birds are considered endangered due to deforestation and illegal pet trade. You will be able to find Magoo, one of our animal ambassadors during animals mingles.
While there are many threats to parrots around the world, there is also hope! More research is continuing to be conducted to help scientists and conservationists learn more about issues to parrot survival and troubleshoot solutions.
Ways you can help at home:
Parrots are popular pets, but they have very specific needs that take a lot of work to care for.
- Do you research: Make sure you and your family are fully prepared to care for these long-lived and complex species.
- Adopt, don’t shop: Instead of buying from a breeder or pet store, consider adopting a parrot from a shelter or rescue organization.
- Support parrot conservation: World Parrot Trust and American Bird Conservancy are great organizations to support
- Visit the Zoo: By visiting the Zoo you are helping us in our mission to preserve and protect wildlife.