According to National Geographic, Mexico is cracking down on the parrot trade:
President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa has signed into law a bill to ban the capture and export of Mexican wild parrots. The bill, introduced one year ago by the Environment Commission of the Deputy Chamber, was passed in the Mexican Senate on 22 April, 2008 with near unanimous support (66 votes in favor, 0 votes against, and 1abstention).
Mexico considers half of its 22 parrot species endangered, and all but two are protected by federal law.
But between 65,000 and 78,000 parrots and guacamayas—a bigger type of parrot—are captured illegally every year, and most of these birds die each year before reaching their intended buyers.
The government has been unable to control the clandestine capture and sale of the protected birds, environmentalists say. The new ban—an amendment to Mexico's wildlife law—will eliminate the parrot and guacamaya market completely. The law will go into effect when it is published in the official congressional diary, possibly by the end of October (this month).
The Defenders of Wildlife Mexico report identified U.S. demand as a major driving force behind the illegal trade for some species, such as the yellow-naped parrot, which is found only in the Mexican state of Chiapas.
Mexico is home to 22 species of parrots and macaws, of which six are found nowhere else in the world. Approximately 90 percent of all parrots and macaws found in Mexico are in some category of risk. The latest Mexican classification (yet to be published) lists 11 species as endangered, five as threatened, four as requiring special protection, and two as unclassified.
Although this bill marks an immense victory for parrot conservation, much work is yet to be done.
I think that last sentence is an understatement!
How is this new ban to be enforced. Will the ban put a higher price on these birds making them even more valuable to poachers? Does Mexico have enough officers to enforce this new ban? Will this put further pressure on other bird species? Okay, so there's a ban on parrots, will more cardinals, tanagers, and buntings be seen in open markets for sale?
This is a cautious victory.