African Grey Parrot
African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus) are popular pets in all continents outside Africa. With soaring prices being paid for each bird since their status in CITES (an international governmental agreement to control trade in endangered species) was increased, populations in the wild have dramatically decreased due to unprecedented pressure from poaching. Since 2008, the Congo Wildlife Health Programs' staff have responded to this issue by rehabilitating and releasing parrots rescued from the illegal wildlife trade. It is estimated that for every parrot that makes it to the international pet markets, 20 have died in the process. Since January 2017 alone, more than 400 parrots have been confiscated and brought to the care of the WCS veterinary team in Congo.
Watch: Parrots in Peril
The spectacular scarlet macaw (Ara macao) is a Neotropical parrot native to the humid, evergreen forests of Latin America. The species has suffered local extinctions through habitat destruction, hunting for the pet trade and threats from aggressive invasive bees. WCS veterinarians in Guatemala help to raise, re-release and track rescued macaw chicks and conduct health monitoring of wild scarlet macaws, collecting feathers, blood and cloacal swabs to test for diseases that threaten their conservation such as Pacheco's disease, psittacine beak and feather disease, polyomavirus, herpes virus and chlamydia.
WCS Guatemala: Scarlet Macaw Focus
Saving Guatemala's Vanishing Macaws