Saving the St. Vincent Amazon Parrot

The battle to save the St. Vincent Amazon Parrot goes on. Officials at the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary have proposed transferring the Sanctuary’s endangered St. Vincent Amazon parrot collection to an offshore location in order to ensure their safety, but they are still waiting for a response from the Barbados Ministry of Environment regarding the move. See excerpts with a link to the full article below:

Recent break-ins, wildlife poaching and pollution are forcing the Sanctuary to seek temporary safe-haven for the collection.  The parrots at Graeme Hall are the national bird of St. Vincent, and the only such population in Barbados.

Earlier this year one of the St. Vincent parrots was found dead after being assaulted by intruders.  Unpredictable water quality, security and other factors are major concerns for the internationally-recognized St. Vincent breeding programme in Barbados.

Officials cited international protocols as the reason for asking the Ministry of Environment for guidance.  Under international law moving rare species from one country to another must be done in close cooperation with the species’ host country and the country of origin.  So far the St. Vincent government has given its recommendation for relocation of the parrots.

“Barbados is the official host to the St. Vincent national bird.  They are among the rarest parrots on earth with fewer than 600 living in the wild.” said a spokesperson from the Sanctuary.   “Last June we asked Minister (of Environment) Denis Lowe one question:  ‘Subject to appropriate national and international regulations, would the Government of Barbados be supportive of temporary relocation of the St. Vincent Parrot population?'”

If the Barbados Ministry of Environment is in favor of allowing the birds to leave Barbadian soil, then permissions may be sought from  CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) and the destination country agency tasked with administering local and international wildlife regulations.

But there is a possibility that the government of Barbados may consider hosting of the birds as an issue of national interest, and may consider that the retention of the birds on Barbadian soil would be a matter of courtesy to the government of St. Vincent.

“We just don’t know what they (government) want,” said a Sanctuary official. 

See press release at http://www.graemehall.com/press/releases/offshore-bird-relocation-delayed/

Photo from http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=protecting-st-vincent-ama

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