Brazil's Grey-breasted Parakeet is in trouble and may face extinction. Habitat loss and poaching have reduced the global population of this species to just 250 adult individuals and almost all of these birds rely on one isolated hilltop forest in Brazil. ABC and partner Aquasis are urgently working to save this Critically Endangered species by reducing poaching, increasing reproductive rates and expanding the bird's habitat range. We can help the Grey-breasted Parakeet bounce back – but we need your help to make it happen.
Habitat Loss and Poaching: A Recipe for Disaster
Populations of the Grey-breasted Parakeet have plummeted in the last two decades as critical habitat has disappeared in the wake of expanding coffee production. Today, barely 13% of the parakeet's original habitat remains, and the species—which is endemic to the upland forests of northeast Brazil—survives primarily in just one isolated area.
In recent years, wildlife trafficking has greatly increased as poachers scour remaining pockets of forest to meet black market demands for the brightly-colored parakeet. Capture by poachers in Brazil is likely to end in a painful death. For each bird sold on the black market, it's estimated that nine die before arriving, due to the atrocious conditions in which they are kept and transported. Despite Brazil's anti-poaching laws, law enforcement agencies typically lack the training and resources to adequately protect birds from this widespread threat.
Nest Box Survival—and Success
The last stronghold for the Grey-breasted Parakeet is in the Baturité Mountains of northeast Brazil, where Aquasis works directly with landowners to prevent poaching and install nest boxes to provide the parakeets with adequate nesting sites. In the last five years, the successful nest box program has added 300 chicks to the Grey-breasted Parakeet population!
Planning for Persistence
Together, ABC and Aquasis are laying the foundation for a Grey-breasted Parakeet comeback. Your contribution today will help us take on the major threats it faces, supporting our efforts to:
- Establish a new population. ABC and Aquasis plan to relocate 20-35 Grey-breasted Parakeets from the Baturité Mountains to a protected area in the Aratanha Mountains, 20 miles away. This new site has great potential habitat for the species, with humid and preserved forests, as well the presence of landowners who control and protect the land from hunters and poachers. Aquasis needs funding to transport the birds and purchase the equipment to monitor the parakeets closely after their release.
- Expand the nest box program. Last year ABC helped Aquasis establish contact with 32 new landowners in the Baturité region. In 2017, Aquasis will continue engaging landowners with the goal of doubling the size of the nest box program over the next two-three years.
- Reduce poaching. Local law enforcement officials lack the skills necessary to correctly protect—or even identify—the Grey-breasted Parakeet. With your support, we can provide resources and training to more effectively halt activity related to the illegal pet trade. We will also continue to promote awareness of the species within the communities; many local people are unaware that the Grey-breasted Parakeet is found only in their region or is threatened with extinction.
Grey-breasted Parakeets Need Your Help
The Grey-breasted Parakeet faces challenges on its road to recovery, but as the nest box program shows, the species will rebound if given the opportunity. Quick action is critical and ABC and Aquasis are ramping up our efforts. Please join us in helping to save the Grey-breasted Parakeet.
American Bird Conservancy is the Western Hemisphere’s bird conservation specialist—the only organization with a single and steadfast commitment to achieving conservation results for native birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. With a focus on efficiency and working in partnership, we take on the toughest problems facing birds today, innovating and building on sound science to halt extinctions, protect habitats, eliminate threats, and build capacity for bird conservation.
Aquasis (Association for the Research and Preservation of Aquatic Ecosystems) was established as a non-governmental organization in 1994, and is the leading organization in Brazil for the protection of the Grey-breasted Parakeet.