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Position on Feral Parrots?

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Position on Feral Parrots?

Postby banuvatt » Sun Jun 14, 2020 3:14 pm

This is probably a very controversial topic especially among parrot lovers. But, what do you think about feral parrots? I am very conflicted with the idea of feral parrots. On one hand I think they are cool and nice to see, on the other I don't like them being here. Not because of I don't like the parrots themselves, but because some sick individuals who don't like them will shoot them while others will exploit them by climbing up trees to poach their nests and sell their chicks and eggs to the pet trade.

Also, rehabilitation centers like SoCal Parrot I am just as conflicted with them if not more as well. They rehabilitate feral parrots who are injured whether from shootings, cars, cats/dogs etc. This I don't have a problem with what I do have a problem with is them RELEASING NON NATIVE SPECIES back into the places they were found. This I think is idiotic to say the least you are just asking for that parrot you found shot to give the shooter another chance to not miss. Not only that, but it's a federal crime to release non native species in the wild.

This is people's fault to begin with if people never kept parrots as pets or had to at least go through some trouble that was not simply getting enough money to buy one. Maybe a person would think twice before naively releasing a non native species into the wild. Some parrots(red crowned parrot) like those in Southern Texas next to the border of Mexico aren't escaped pets rather traveling northwards from Northeastern Mexico to escape the human pressures of the pet trade and habitat destruction.

It's quite ironic that people have a hard time eradicating an invasive species, but not a native one. People had no problem wiping out the Dodo bird, Carolina parakeet, and so many of countless of other species. But, can't seem to get rid of feral hogs, and mongoose in Hawaii. European starlings, house sparrows, and common mynas worldwide let alone in the USA. Silver carp, and northern snakes heads in the USA, feral livestock in Australia. Who knows how many species worldwide feral dogs and cats wiped out even till this day?

Although I have to say that I do like Australia's removal of IRN parakeets because it didn't require lethal measures. It was orientated more towards trapping and relocating them to proper breeders.
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Re: Position on Feral Parrots?

Postby Pajarita » Mon Jun 15, 2020 8:42 am

Well, there will always be bad people who trap, poach, hunt, kill, etc animals whether they are an indigenous or a naturalized species. I mean, people torture and kill dogs and cats all the time as well as horses, cows, goats, sheep, etc. They kill people, too - even children. Bad people are bad people and they make no distinction between species - they are just bad. People here kill US species that are protected by law all the time as well as domesticated species so saying that there should not be feral parrots because they are in danger of bad people is kind of moot, don't you think?

As the rescues releasing the rehabilitated parrot back to the wild... well, what would you like them to do? Because they can't be kept as pets and that's the ONLY other option - at least, at this point in time. Would it be better if they could be sent back to the country where they originated? Maybe... but that's a big maybe because they would be in danger there, too (look at what Brazil is doing!). Would it be better to relocate them to a preserve? Yes, but the government is now opening up all the preserves, sanctuaries and national parks to hunters, oil, gas, mineral companies and even developers, endangering even native animals that are at the brink of extinction so why would they protect invasive or naturalized species? Of course, if the land was privately held, it could be accomplish as long as it's a HUGE property kept under constant guard but nobody has the money for that (rescues are ALWAYS in the red and needing money for essentials like good food, electricity, etc). Releasing IS the only viable option they have nowadays and doing so gives the birds a chance at a good life and to go back to their own family - and that's the best you can do for a wild animal.

But, yes, you are 100% correct in that everything bad that happens in the world is man's fault. Without a doubt!

Feral dogs and cats have not wiped out a single species. It's always man. And, if you think about it, even if dogs and cats had wiped out a species, it would still be people's fault for not caring for the dogs and cats properly to begin with! If everybody spayed/neuter and kept their dogs and cats indoors and well-cared for as they are supposed to be, there would not be any feral or stray dogs or cats (not that there are that many feral dogs in the world, mind you - there are what is called 'free-ranging' dogs -we call them 'stray- but they are not feral).

As to invasive or naturalized species... well, the way I look at it is: you can't put the cat back in the bag. It's done. Whether we like it or not, whether it's good for them or not, they are here to stay because the ONLY alternative to that is to kill them and I am against that. Of course, if the government did care about their welfare, they could come up with a plan to nix reproduction so the ones already here can live their lives same as they are doing now only without having babies and, eventually and in a relatively short period of time, the invasive species will die out. But killing is always their go-to plan - cheap and fast.

And, as far as I know, there are feral IRN flocks in Australia right now. I haven't heard or read of a program to get rid of them humanely so if you have a link, I would appreciate your posting it here so I can read about it because, honestly, I doubt that any invasive animal removal done by the Australian government was 'humane' - animals have it real bad in Australia nowadays.
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Re: Position on Feral Parrots?

Postby banuvatt » Mon Jun 15, 2020 9:55 am

Well when I read an article on feral parrots by the National Audubon Society the founder of SoCal Parrots when given the options by Fish and Wildlife, what she could do one of the options was release parrots back to their native habitat. The other two options one you already listed the other one was euthanize... It's definitely possible to release amazons native to Mexico such as the lilac amazon which is native to the pacific northwest of Mexico or the red crowned amazon which is native to the northeast of Mexico. While the ones native to Central and South America will definitely be harder to release. Since due to their endangered status I think both of these two species of Mexican amazons should take priority.

While I am not for killing animals in general. It sometimes has to be done invasive animals do so much havoc and destruction to ecosystems and property. Is not the ideal solution, but it's the most realistic one. Even though it is people's fault to begin with saying so isn't going to solve the problem. If invasive species are producing at a uncontrollable rate then I am sorry to say it, but killing seems like the only solution. Especially if they are draining the ecosystem by outcompeting local fauna, or even worst if they are so aggressive they kill local competitors and or their young(European Starling.) It can't get any worst then that unless if they actually also prey on competitors and their young like some animals do.

Here is the link to the article https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/birds/india ... pest-alert
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Re: Position on Feral Parrots?

Postby Pajarita » Mon Jun 15, 2020 10:40 am

Well, the redcrowns were found in USA originally so although not in the same exact spot, they do belong here. But, when it comes to the LCA which come from Mexico, the thing is that for the re-location to work, you would have to catch ALL the birds in the feral flock at the same time because one would not want to separate pairs or families - and that is very difficult. For another, you are talking about A LOT of money and, like I said before, rescues never have any money and the government does not help them at all. Last but not least, they have been classified as endangered in Mexico because their natural habitat is being destroyed so I don't really see how it benefits a bird to be moved to a place where they will not have a habitat in the future.

As to killing... well, I am afraid that we will not agree with that. Yes, there are species that are terribly invasive -like the pythons in Florida, for example- but penalizing an animal with death when it was humans that created the problem is not fair, is it? Especially since there could have been laws to prevent this in the first place which were not put in place because of the millions the pet industry has poured into lobbying so as to prevent good animal laws to be put on the books. To kill an animal which is only trying to survive just so people can continue exploiting them for money is not something an animal lover would support. And, like I said, there are methods to control the population besides killing them all - and in an inhumane way to boot!

I had already seen that article but it only states that, if you see a feral IRN, to report it so 'appropriate action can be taken' without saying what the appropriate action is - although it does say that, in the past, traps have been set and the trapped birds had been given to responsible keepers. But, if you ask me, the 'responsible keepers' are nothing but commercial breeders because wild-caughts don't make pets but make excellent breeders - and I do not support breeding parrots for the pet trade.
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Re: Position on Feral Parrots?

Postby banuvatt » Mon Jun 15, 2020 11:59 am

About the Lilac Amazon they are not only classified as endangered because of habitat destruction. But, also because they are highly wanted in domestic and international trade. They are the 5th most captured Mexican parrot species, the fourth is the red crowned amazon.

I will admit that killing invasive species is rash and it just can be used as a opportunity so hunters could get trophies or a free for all on killing. Like for instance the Eurasian collared dove it's considered a agricultural pest and so people hunt them on a mass scale because there are so many of them. I also have to admit I don't like when people act like it's the animal's fault for being an invasive species. I get that blaming it on the animal kind of removes the guilt of killing them when all they are just trying to do is survive. (You can't exactly hold animals morality accountable for destroying the ecosystem or crops when they don't know any better.) I have heard of sterilizing invasive species so if that can be done then I will rather prefer that over the eradicating them.

Prevention is a good way to prevent this from happening I do see your point. Killing them can only do so much when compared to if they never were released or escaped in the first place. Stricter laws and restrictions on owning pets I think may be a good thing. Maybe making it harder or go through more processes to obtain an animal will make people think twice before releasing it.

I also get that there is an overcrowding of bird shelters because people are irresponsible and don't think about the commitment it takes to own a bird particularly a parrot. Unfortunately like a lot of animals in shelters they are seen as damaged or throwaways.
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Re: Position on Feral Parrots?

Postby Pajarita » Tue Jun 16, 2020 10:23 am

Well, I've been involved in animal rescue (dog, cat, bird) for many years now (even did it full time for six years) and can tell you that, based on my personal experience, most animals that end up in a shelter are not the ones that got the bad treatment that 'damaged' them which, in turn, made them end up in the shelter. Most people who do not treat their animals right do not even bother to put them in a shelter, they either sell the animal on CL, give it away to somebody they know, put the animal in a basement or outside, abandon it on the street or call Animal Control. Basically, they take the easy way out, same as they did with the care the animal should have gotten and never did. People who take the time to take it to a shelter (you have to fill out paperwork, bring the animal to the actual shelter, etc) are not the bad owners - they care for the animal and, for one reason or another, they can no longer do it. Are there 'damaged' dogs in private shelters? Yes, there are but mostly because they take in dogs that are going to be put down by Animal Control -where the abandoned, stray, seized animals end up. Not that they are irredeemable, mind you! I have and have had dogs from Animal Control, puppy mill ex-breeders, etc that had serious issues but, given the right environment, guidance and time, they all ended up being great because you can rehabilitate them. But this is mostly for dogs and cats which are domesticated species, when it comes to birds, it's the almost the same but with one BIG difference: most people give the bird up because they realize they cannot 'do it' and not so much because they were irresponsible or that they did not want to commit. The problem is that nobody really knows the HUGE amount of work, studying, time, money and the loooong, looooong years it means to keep a pet parrot healthy and happy. Every single new owner thinks he/she knows and has the best intentions at heart. They have done 'their homework', read stuff in the internet, considered which species to get and found out about it, got the cage and the toys and the perches and the food, etc but 99% of the stuff on the net does not tell you the truth - and, needless to say, neither do anybody who belongs to the industry (breeders, pet store owners and employees, even avian vets!) because it is in their own best interest for people to keep parrots so they are not going to be discouraging you from becoming a client of theirs. Most everybody and most everything you find out there says that if you do what they tell you to do, you will have a wonderful, healthy, happy pet. And people believe it because this is the rule of thumb when it comes to pets! If you are a good owner, you will have a happy, healthy dog, cat, rabbit, fish, etc.... it just doesn't work with parrots or any other undomesticated species that has a complex, impossible to fulfill emotional or physical needs in captivity. Nobody tells you that no matter how much you do, how much time or money you spend, you will NOT make your parrot happy or be able to keep it for life (people simply do not live that long). Nobody tells you that you need to get up at 4:30 am in the summer or that you need to be home by 3 pm during the winter. Nobody tells you that there is no good commercial food for parrots and that you will have to make it yourself -with the consequence of you having to learn about parrot nutrition, which is NOT an easy subject. Nobody tells you that you will need to watch over your bird for 6, 8, 10 hours a day because that is the time they need to be out and flying around every day and that it means you are stuck at home EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR YEARS! Nobody tells you that you will need to make changes to the infrastructure of your home because you have to find the way to prevent the bird from flying out a door or a window. Nobody tells you that you will need to learn to live with poop and chewed up EVERYTHING. Nobody tells you that you will need to learn about bird physiology, pathology, etc so you can catch that very subtle symptom early enough to give you a good chance at treating whatever it is that the parrot is ailing from. Nobody tells you that the bird will bond so deeply with you that it will be jealous and possibly attack all other members of your family. Nope... they all tell you that it will all work out, that the bird will be happy with you and that you will be able to live a normal life with it (They live in cages, don't they? Ergo, they MUST be low maintenance).

Are the birds put in rescues or privately rehomed damaged? Yes, all of them are. But then so are the babies you buy from a breeder. A wild animal stolen from their parents while still in the nest and raised by humans in a human environment, deprived of its natural social group, the opportunity to learn necessary survival skills from its parents, given the wrong diet and kept in a cage will be damaged. Period. There is not two ways about it. Can they be rehabilitated? Yes - all of them without exception BUT the success of the rehabilitation is directly related to the prior conditions and present conditions AND the expectations you have for it. I have a parent-raised GCC that plucks because she was kept under very crowded conditions by the breeder and she is doing great - she still plucks although not as much but she eats well, gets along with the other birds -especially Epuish who is her BFF, bathes on her own and has learned to go back into her cage when told to. As far as I am concerned, she is 'rehabilitated' but then I don't expect her to bond with me while most other people might. I have a pair of amazons that cannot be handled. She is a older wild-caught that was neglected so she reverted to wild ways and the male was severely abused by his previous owner and lost all trust in people. But, as far as I am concerned, they are great birds - they are fabulous eaters, bathe on their own, entertain themselves, healthy, content and with perfect plumage - and they have learned to go into their cage when my husband needs to repair the birdroom and wait there until he finishes. They are, pretty much, the easiest birds I have. But they are not pets, not really - they just live in my house. And I do not know how many owners would be OK with this because I put these birds up for adoption and they stayed up (in rescueme.com) for almost an entire year and despite me stating VERY clearly on the ad that they needed a dedicated birdroom because they cannot live locked in a cage for the rest of their lives, that they cannot be handled, that they are not people-friendly, that experience in handling aggressive large species was essential, etc. Everybody who applied thought that they could make pets out of them ("I will love them and teach them to talk", "They will be with me all day long" etc), were going to keep them in a human area ("I have a beautiful macaw cage for them in my living room" "They can go in my den, where I spend a lot of time") and the greatest majority of them did not have any experience with large parrots or a bonded pair and not a single one had experience with a large, aggressive parrot. Not a single one! They had no birds, little ones or a single bird of a large species that grew up alone and was raised from a baby. It is experience but it is not the kind of experience that will help you when they are in breeding season and Zeus flies out to bite your face... I couldn't, in good conscience, rehome them to somebody who might get seriously hurt by him. I explained this to them when I rejected them and most of them took offense! People think they can do more than what they can really do when it comes to parrots... And that, in a nutshell, is the problem. They think that because they read stuff on the internet and they have good intentions, they will be able to care properly for a parrot - but it doesn't quite work out that way because normal people, living in a normal household cannot keep a pet parrot healthy and happy all its life (I don't consider myself 'normal' in that sense). And when they finally admit they can't and, by then, the parrot has been neglected or misunderstood and mishandled for a long time, they put it up for adoption and they all give the same reason: I can no longer give it the attention it deserves. Only, in reality, it's not 'no longer', it's that they never could. I can't. You can't. Nobody can. And anybody who tells you they are doing it is in denial or hasn't yet learned enough about parrots.
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Re: Position on Feral Parrots?

Postby Chai » Tue Jun 16, 2020 1:01 pm

Wow, Pajarita that was a great post. Agreed 100%.
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Re: Position on Feral Parrots?

Postby banuvatt » Tue Jun 16, 2020 7:24 pm

I get that how the pet industry shows parrots is very deceiving. All people think about parrots is their pretty colors, and the fact they can "talk." Parrots rival the intelligence of primates, and dolphins. So I understand one should really think about it before getting one. I'll be honest I don't care much for the mimicry ability of parrots. I think it's a "neat" thing, but I don't care much for it. (If people care so much about mimicry they could get a Myna bird or a European Starling.) The beautiful plumage on parrots I think it's nice, but I don't care much for it. I appreciate parrots for the beautiful animals they are with complex emotions and high intelligence.

I understand if the pet industry told the truth about parrots less people would want them and their business would go down. Parrots are not for everyone I get that they are high demanding pets to say the less. If you have a parrot it's probably the equivalent of taking care of a baby or a toddler because of how high demanding they are. Not to mention they live incredibly long lives.

If people are actually educated to how difficult it is to take care of a parrot. This would probably decrease the trade of wild caught parrots throughout the world. 25% of parrot species are threatened. I think people should also be educated to how inhumane the trapping methods, and the shipping conditions parrots are in. One instance of how inhumane the trapping methods are is with blue crowned amazons. Typically there is one kept in a cage, and used bait other blue crowned amazons(doesn't sound too bad right?) Once the other blue crowned amazons are within range they are shot with a slingshot which I assume temporarily stuns them which enables them to be captured.

This of course is the one of the least inhumane methods used to capture wild parrots. The other I knew was done with imperial amazons I believe. It is called "wing shooting" as it names explicitly states what is meant by it is literally. The nests of many of the imperial amazons were inaccessible so their alternative was to collect the adults by maiming them in flight.
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Re: Position on Feral Parrots?

Postby Pajarita » Wed Jun 17, 2020 9:50 am

Education does not work. "Give people the right information and people will make the right decision" It sounds like a great solution, doesn't it? But it doesn't work because the information IS there and has been there for years now but people are still buying baby parrots. Why? Because they WANT one. People are selfish and self-centered and want what they want and they do not want to hear it. Period. It's human nature and it's real hard to fight it. You think I would not LOVE to get a baby bird and raise it myself?! But I stop myself from doing it the same way that I stop myself from doing other things that I would love to do but know, in my heart, that are wrong. I LOVE pork! And I do mean LUV LUV LUV pork! To me, there is nothing better than a nice, salty, crispy around the fatty edges pork chop - but I don't eat pork because even if they were given a good life (which they are not) and a human death (they are not), they are smart enough to realize what is happening when they go to slaughter. It's like eating a dog or a horse... an intelligent to the point of self-awareness, highly social animal that has deep feelings. I think it's wrong so I don't do it. I also do not eat beef or chicken unless they had a 'normal' life (outdoor, eating a natural diet, socializing with others of their own species and grown to adulthood) and a humane death. I was raised in a 'beef country'... we ate beef for lunch and dinner almost every single day of the year but I eat very little these days because the meat I eat is expensive - and also because I limit myself to only what is necessary to keep my vitamin deficiencies at bay (I was a vegetarian for years but had to quit because my doctor could not bring my B12 levels to normal even with regular shots so I now eat a bit of meat while still taking supplements for it and get tested twice a year).

The truth of the matter is that there has never been a change for the good in the world done only with education. Not a single example. Every time that we have 'moved forward', it has been done through laws and strife: the end of the absolute monarchy and the feudal system, emancipation of slaves, women suffrage, apartheid repudiation, civil rights, etc. The laws had to be put in the books and enforced until people changed the way they saw things. Because if you wait for an entire population to have a 'road to Damascus' epiphany, we would still be living in caves and hitting each other over the head with clubs.
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Re: Position on Feral Parrots?

Postby banuvatt » Wed Jun 17, 2020 12:07 pm

I will admit you do have a point, but I never argued solely education. Education does help for instance I want to be a zoologist. What motivated me? Learning about the wildlife trade and how horrific it is especially reading the horrible methods used to trap parrots also the horrible living conditions they are kept under. Reading about these things, and seeing images of them made me more concerned about the welfare of not only wild parrots but, captive ones as well. However I do understand that words are just words and are meaningless unless if action is taken.

What you said about pigs is interesting I knew that they were highly intelligent and sociable animals, but never to the extent of self awareness. Since you don't eat pork because of a pig's ability to have complex emotions, intelligence, and for ethical reasons. But, barely eat any beef or chicken unless if they are raised humanely. Do you eat a lot of fish? I know that mammals, and birds(parrots are even more emotionally affectionate than even dogs and cats) are capable of expressing complex emotions, and intelligence. What I have learned about fish, amphibians and reptiles they only have a brain stem and aren't capable of expressing complex emotions like you or I. (Now this isn't to say you can treat them however you would like they still needed to be treat with love and respect) For instance turtles don't need companionship because they don't get lonely. They are actually fine by themselves, and sometimes that can be even better them being by themselves. This is due to territorial disputes if not given enough space. Fish school not because they get "lonely" it's because to feel less vulnerable to predators. Fish, amphibians, and reptiles only need their basic needs met, and do not require companionship.
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