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Quantifying the illegal parrot trade in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, with emphasis on threatened species

  • Mauricio Herrera (a1) and Bennett Hennessey (a1)

Abstract

We monitored the illegal pet trade in Los Pozos pet market from August 2004 to July 2005. As indicated in Bolivian law, all unauthorized trade in wild animal species is illegal, especially species considered threatened by IUCN. During this period, we recorded 7,279 individuals of 31 parrot species, including four threatened species, two of which were being transported from Brazil through Bolivia to markets in Peru. The most frequently sold species was the Blue-fronted Parrot Amazona aestiva with 1,468 individuals observed during our study, the majority of which (94%) were believed to have been captured in the wild. Most of the purchased birds remain within Bolivia, while the more expensive, threatened species frequently head to Peru; some individuals may even reach Europe. We believe our study describes only a small proportion of the Bolivian parrot trade, underscoring the potential extent of the illegal pet trade and the need for better Bolivian law enforcement.

Resumo

Monitoreamos el comercio ilegal de aves en el mercado de mascotas de Los Pozos, desde agosto de 2004 a julio de 2005. De acuerdo a lo que establece la ley boliviana, todo comercio no autorizado de animales salvajes es ilegal, especialmente de especies consideradas Amenazadas por la IUCN. Durante este periodo, grabamos 7.279 individuos de 31 especies de loros, incluyendo 4 especies amenazadas, de las cuales dos fueron transportadas desde Brasil a través de Bolivia hacia mercados en Perú. La especie más frecuentemente vendida fue el Loro Frente Azul Amazona aestiva, con 1.468 individuos observados durante nuestro estudio, de los cuales creemos que un 94% ha sido capturado en su hábitat natural. La mayoría de la compra de aves permanece dentro de Bolivia, mientras que las más caras especies amenazadas, se dirigen a Perú; algunos individuos pueden incluso alcanzar Europa. Creemos que nuestro estudio describe sólo un pequeão porcentaje del comercio de loro boliviano, subrayando el grado potencial del comercio ilegal de mascotas y la necesidad de una mejor aplicación de la ley boliviana.

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Corresponding author

*Author for correspondence; e-mail: abhennessey@armonia-bo.org

Quantifying the illegal parrot trade in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, with emphasis on threatened species

  • Mauricio Herrera (a1) and Bennett Hennessey (a1)

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