The Parrots Final Flight

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The Parrots Final Flight EXTINCTION! ©
By R.J. McMillan

It is no longer than half a century ago that the Naturalists of the world began to employ the concept of extinction to the twentieth century phenomenon caused by the effect of human activity on the worlds environment: the disappearance of species. This covers all plants and animals that have disappeared either locally, regionally or world-wide through human activity.

Its been estimated that of all the species which have ever existed on this world 99.9% are now extinct! This happened over a period of millions of years and was mainly due to mass extinctions taking place caused by climate and environmental changes during our world's development.

But the rate of extinction since has increased so dramatically that species are becoming extinct within 100 years and in some instances within a decade. The present rate of extinction which is nearly out of control and accelerating dramatically does not obey the extinction criteria of the past million years and can be directly related to the invasion and rape of the world's environment by the human race.

The world's parrot species face an unprecedented crisis. Out of the three hundred and thirty two species of parrots that exist today; over a third are either endangered or highly threatened with extinction. This is directly related to: habitat loss due to deforestation, the introduction of predatory species (domestic cat, dogs and rats), trapping for food and wild caught parrots for the pet/bird trade and the illegal smuggling and keeping of highly endangered/threatened species by persons for self gratification and financial gain.

Although there have been some very minor successes in parrot species conservation over the last decade, one of the main threats to their survival comes from trapping for the pet trade. As a direct result of global trade in wild caught parrots 58 species are facing extinction. It has been estimated that for every wild parrot that survives the trauma of being caught and sold, at least four more will die.

The parrot species extinction crisis will be addressed effectively only if far greater attention is given to both the immediate threat to these species and the driving forces causing their decline. Addressing these forces will be particularly challenging, as it raises questions about the sustainability of human lifestyles. These issues will only be addressed if there is much greater support for lifestyle changes, and this involves the political will of world governments. Some of the wealthier countries of the world are slowly addressing sustainability issues and have been successful in bringing about the slow recovery of certain species.

Yet despite some isolated successes, conservation progress has generally been too little, and the situation continues to worsen. If current trends in deforestation continue, within 50 years only 5% of parrot habitat will remain in "Protected Areas". Extinction rates will then dramatically increase to a magnitude as yet unheard of!

Human efforts to date have been notable for their lack of foresight and attention to the living world that supports us all!!

AKJ 2018 - Article written by past PSUK Council member and initial website master in 1999, but pretty much as true today as it was then.


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