Advancing the cause of parrot conservation and welfare

Conserve wild parrot populations and their habitats
Enhance the welfare of captive birds
Promote global awareness about the plight of wild and captive parrots
Educate the next generation of world citizens about conservation
Encourage compassionate and responsible giving toward this cause

Parrots are highly intelligent animals who have long lives, complex social needs, and a biology that intends them for flight. In the wild, they form life-long bonds with a mate, flock in groups of hundreds, and even name their chicks. They fly dozens of miles a day, navigating the complexities of the rainforest, and use their intelligence to forage for food, build nests, and fend off predators. Despite socializing in large groups, parrots are almost always within earshot of their mate. Seeing these free-spirited creatures in the wild makes you question why anyone would pluck them from their nests to share a home with humans continents away.

Because parrots are so common in captivity, we have somehow forgotten that they are native species of other countries – and that they’re extremely endangered. Poached in astounding numbers for the past several decades to fuel the global pet trade, a third of all parrot species are at risk for extinction. Most affected are the species that people desire as pets.

Parrots belong in the wild, not in cages. Sadly, parrots today connote eccentric talking pets. Even worse, we’ve adopted a mentality that these are low-maintenance animals that we can keep in a cage. The physical confines of a home and isolation from a flock cause immense stress to a bird, and many end up self-mutilating. Because few households can meet the needs of a bird, thousands every year are passed onto ignorant owners, or relinquished to overcrowded, underfunded shelters. We are facing an epidemic of unwanted parrots in captivity.

With so few parrots left in the wild, every individual matters. We hope to change the perception of parrots from chatty creatures living in a cage to wild animals who belong in the forests of their native country. Only when we start to perceive them as essential to our planet’s biodiversity do we feel compelled to conserve them.

Raucous, free-spirited, and easily recognizable, parrots are great ambassadors for the rainforest. When we start understanding their place in the wild, we also start protecting where they live: some of the most deforested areas in the world. And in so doing, we end up protecting not only parrots, but all other species that live in the same forest.