Parrots, owls, exotic starlings and even the Toco toucan, made famous by Guinness adverts, are amongst birds still alive in the wild because of the ban. Without it, and despite market research revealing disapproval of the trade, many of these birds would be pets in Britain and the rest of Europe, cooped up in cages for the rest of their lives. Many more would have died on the way.
Monitoring is poor and it is not known how many wild birds were imported into the UK before the Europe-wide ban was imposed.
What is known is that the pet trade is threatening 60 per cent of the world’s 350 parrot species and one in ten of the 1,200 bird species now at risk of extinction. There are 9,799 species of bird in the wild and at least 3,000 of them have been sold as pets.
There is a danger now that the import ban that has reprieved these birds will be lifted.
Sacha Cleminson, Senior European Advocacy Officer at the RSPB said: “The import ban has thrown thousands and perhaps millions of birds a lifeline and it would be a tragedy if the ban were to be lifted when it is reviewed in December.
“We already know that this could happen because the EU is under pressure from some of the countries that export exotic birds. If these states can prove that seizing wild birds does not reduce their numbers, there might be grounds for resuming a limited trade. But there is little evidence to prove this and if we are to stop birds from going extinct, the ban should be made permanent until there is.”
The ban was imposed last October after imported birds died from the H5N1 strain of bird flu while in quarantine in Essex. Two years earlier, two crested hawk-eagles, smuggled from Thailand to Brussels airport, were seized and found to have the H5N1 strain of bird flu.
The EU is responsible for 87 per cent – about one million birds annually - of the trade in birds listed by CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species with the trade in non-CITES birds thought to be even greater.
Wild bird populations are falling largely because of habitat loss and because controls on numbers taken from nests in Africa, South America and Asia are either non-existent or poorly applied.
A report commissioned by the Belgian government says that exporting countries could make up to €72 million annually by eliminating what costs there are for trade controls, increasing eco-tourism and boosting other, associated industries.
The report also suggests that a permanent EU import ban could generate more than €1 million a year by stimulating the business in captive breeding and boosting funds for conservation.
Julian Hughes, Head of Species Policy at the RSPB said: “Too many birds are taken too often because what curbs there are, are ignored. All countries are responsible for the conservation of their wildlife and those states with the most sought after birds, have the greatest responsibility of all.
“Up to 60 per cent of birds caught for the pet trade die before they reach their destination. This is an horrific toll, particularly when almost every bird wanted as a pet could be bred in captivity in the UK.
“There is overwhelming support for the unsustainable and squalid trade in wild birds to be outlawed. There is no justification for it particularly when birds bred in captivity make much better pets.”
Cath Harris | alfa
Scientists team up on study to save endangered African penguins
16.11.2017 | Florida Atlantic University
Climate change: Urban trees are growing faster worldwide
13.11.2017 | Technische Universität München
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
20.11.2017 | Life Sciences
20.11.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.11.2017 | Life Sciences