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Parrots in the news update

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« on: March 21, 2009, 07:04:59 pm »

Parrots in the news update

Wildlife Smuggling Nets Big Bucks For Organized Crime

Illegally traded animals can end up anywhere from a cooking pot in Asia to a pet shop in Europe

Humming birds bound and stuffed in cigarette packets, snakes and tortoises inside a hollowed out teddy bear, exotic birds’ eggs made into necklaces—these are just some of the myriad ways used to smuggle wildlife in a lucrative worldwide trade.

Run by organized crime, the illegal trade in wildlife and animal parts is estimated to be worth tens of billions of dollars per year, making it the biggest money-maker for organized crime after drugs, according to Interpol, the international police body.

Stingrays and piranhas from South America; star tortoises from India; pygmy slow lorises, a primate, from South Asia; rare albino carpet pythons from Australia; Hawaiian chameleons; endangered sea turtles; West African songbirds—the list of smuggled species is endless.

Read the rest here;

A splendid new butterfly for science - a new species of butterfly has been found in the collections of the Natural History Museum in London after being held there since 1920. Blanca Huertas discovered the species, together with two colleagues, on a Conservation Leadership Programme-funded biological expedition in a remote mountain in Colombia in 2005. However, she did not notice it was an undescribed species until she found other specimens in the Natural History Museum collections, also from Colombia but caught in 1920. The discovery was confirmed by detailed studies of its unusually hairy mouthparts, different to other related species. This butterfly belongs to the genus Splendeuptychia and has been called Splendeuptychia ackeryi in honour of Phil Ackery, the former Collection Manager of the butterfly collections at the Natural History Museum. The description of the “Magdalena Valley Ringlet” was published in the scientific journal Zootaxa in February 2009. To find out more about the Conservation Leadership Programme

A few tear fell during this one.

Climate 'hitting Europe's birds'
Climate change is already having an impact on European bird species, according to British scientists.

Details of the study by an international team of researchers have been published in the journal Plos One.

Some birds are expected to do well as temperatures rise, but these are in the minority, the researchers write.

"Overall, the trend is towards net loss," said a spokesman for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), which contributed to the study.

Read the rest here

AJ The Sporty Indian Ringneck Parakeet
A sporty parrot who plays golf and basketball has become an internet hit.

The parrot, called AJ, can be seen putting a golf ball, slam dunking a basketball and performing gymnastic routines.

Thousands of fans have watched the sporting all-rounder demonstrate his prowess in a series of clips on video sharing website YouTube.

The green and yellow parrot’s personal trainer offers encouragement from the sidelines with comments such as “good bird” and “good job.”

And the bird psyches himself up for the challenge by repeating: “Put the ball in the basket. Put the ball in the basket.”

Animals in the News: Parrots, cats and a cruelty law
Dogs and cats aren't the only pets being shed by families wrangling with rising prices, unemployment or foreclosure.

Parrots, some who live into their 80s, need rescuers and new homes, too. Parrot Hope Sanctuary in Northeast Ohio is a network of foster homes and 58 caregivers who took in 115 parrots last year alone, at a cost of $25,000, all donated.

And the year began with a large-scale rescue. A couple with failing health could no longer care for their 22 parrots. Parrot Hope took them all. They took in seven more birds last month. Some are ready for adoption.

But the group has a broader goal, and spreads a message shared by dog and cat rescuers -- stop pet overpopulation.

"Don't breed parrots and don't buy parrots, adopt," said rescuer Marianna Halassy. "There are many, many parrot mills supplying pet stores, just like puppy mills do."

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