A victory over a flourishing traffic. Argentine police helped rescue 577 illegally captured wild birds that were transported on the back of a semi-trailer, during a routine traffic check in the town of San Genaro on January 24, 2022.
It was while inspecting the trailer of a truck traveling on the road linking Salta to Buenos Aires that the police found thirteen cages in which were crammed 600 parrots belonging to one of the subspecies of the Blue-fronted Parrot, namely ‘Amazona aestiva xanthopteryx’. Unfortunately, the stress of the capture and the poor transport conditions had already caused the death of 23 individuals. As for the surviving parrots, they were transferred and entrusted to the “Granja la Esmeralda” animal park, located in Santa Fe.
The man and woman in the truck were arrested by the police. An investigation has been launched and the people involved in this case will be prosecuted for violation of the legislation on the conservation of flora and wild fauna.
Nevertheless, this victory over the trafficking of blue-fronted Amazons on Argentine soil should not hide the extent of this illegal trade in the country and more generally in South America. Indeed, on January 12, the police had also discovered during an unexpected roadside check in the north of the country, a hundred young parrots hidden in the trunk of a Citroën C4, driven by an elderly couple.
The blue-fronted Amazon: one of the most trafficked species
Found in the wild in wooded areas and forest clearings in South America, particularly in Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina, the Blue-fronted Parrot has become one of the most common pet parrots in worldwide. Its superb bright green plumage tinged with yellow and adorned with a blue spot above the beak, its sociable and curious character as well as its ability to speak have contributed to the popularity of this parrot but are also the cause of its misfortune. .
Victim of its own success, this species of bird therefore finds itself among the most captured to fuel public demand. It is subject to intense traffic which threatens its survival in the wild while its natural habitat is shrinking each year due to deforestation. Although the Blue-fronted Parrot breeds well in captivity, wild chicks are still taken from nests by poachers to fuel illegal trafficking.
Considered almost threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), this species is protected under the Washington Convention which governs international trade in endangered species of fauna and flora.