Reuter, K. E., Clarke, T. A., LaFleur, M., Rodriguez, L., Hanitriniaina, S., & Schaefer, M. S. (2017). Trade of parrots in urban areas of Madagascar. Madagascar Conservation & Development.
The live capture of parrots is causing increasing concern across Africa. In Madagascar, home to three species of parrot (Coracopsis nigra, C. vasa, Agapornis canus), no study has examined how these species are being extracted from the wild and traded. In this study, we examined the procurement, length of ownership, and the end of ownership of pet parrots. Data were collected via household surveys (n = 440 interviews in 9 towns), market visits (n=17 markets in 6 towns), and opportunistic data collection methods in urban, Malagasy towns. Most Coracopsis spp. are purchased (59%) or captured directly by the owner from the wild (22%), although we were unable to determine how A. canus was procured. Survey respondents reported purchasing Coracopsis spp. for the price of USD 5.36 ± 3.20. The average Coracopsis spp. was kept in captivity for 3.17 ± 2.51 years. No survey respondents provided information on the purchase price or length of ownership for A. canus. Ownership ended primarily when Coracopsis spp. escaped/flew away (36%) or died of unknown causes (21%). A. canus also flew away, although this was only reported in one instance. In-country demand appears to be met by a trade network of both informal and formal actors. It is unclear whether current protections for Madagascar’s parrots, as far as the domestic market is concerned, are sufficient to ensure sustainable extraction of live individuals.