Thirty years ago parrot conservation projects were almost unknown. Most of the earliest efforts focussed on the endangered Amazon parrots of the Caribbean islands, partly because the impact of growing human populations in a small area made their decline obvious. In other parts of the tropics many other parrot species were declining but there was little interest in parrot conservation despite the fact that trapping and export was occurring on a very large and hitherto unknown scale. Many populations of macaws, Amazon parrots, lovebirds and cockatoos, to name a few, were suffering catastrophic declines as a result, some of which have never recovered.
Fortunately, since the 1990s extraordinary progress has been made with the foundation of organisations such as (in chronological order) the World Parrot Trust, Loro Parque Fundacion and Parrots International. These organisations have focussed exclusively on parrots.
Parrots are one of the most endangered groups of birds in existence. About 30% of species are threatened with extinction, compared with about 12% for birds overall. Parrots desperately need our help to survive in the wild. So much of their habitat has been destroyed and illegal trapping continues. The above organisations work to save habitat, conserve the most threatened species and to release illegally trapped parrots back into the wild. Financially, they need every one of us to contribute a little. I hope that these inspiring stories of successful conservation projects and the people behind them will encourage you to contribute. Thank you!