Avian Expert Articles

Grey-breasted Parakeets Winning Fight For Survival

We live in a world that rapidly evolves in every direction imaginable. As humans grow in population, the need for various and accessible goods increase. Often, that translates into disruptions within our sphere of natural resources.

When needs require incredible amounts of lumber and land, it’s the animals who live within those dependable habitats found in the vast network of forestry that suffer. Hundreds of years of adaptation created animal and avian dependency. Just a few years of depletion disrupts all of that. Add to that the element of human greed in illegal trade, and the threat of extinction increases even further… and faster. For the avian population that means danger. Such immediate danger requires human intervention if survival is to be circumvented.

Large Flocks Diminished to Small Populations

Consider the Grey-breasted parakeet. This beautiful bird once flew the airs of Brazil in large numbers. But as the familiar story goes, poaching and land deforestation whittled their numbers down over the years. By 2010, the determined population was so low that the species were listed as critically endangered. This concern was held close to the heart of a small group of conservation-minded individuals led by Fábio Nunes. The established teams went to work to accurately determine the approximate number of these birds left in the wild. Their findings were sobering. It was quickly realized that there were so few actual birds left. To not jump in right away would be devastating to the species and to the world.

Grey-breasted parakeets were victim primarily of too little useable habitat locations and nesting opportunities. A government effort to help re-establish a protected space was necessary to jump-start the newly formed project in 2012. In short order, a series of partners were secured to help fund the project to bring back the near extinct bird.

A Simple Yet Effective Fix

The first reaction was to create necessary nest boxes that the birds would use. The boxes were adopted by the parakeets and they began to use them to great and increasing success. With this in motion, the team enlisted the help of the native insiders by asking them to help protect the birds and their newly hatched chicks from the hands of poachers. With these efforts in place, the hope was that the birds could be able to naturally increase their numbers in the wild.

The efforts led to an amazing resurgence of this species of parakeet in the wild. Over the years since the beginning of the project, approximately 130 fledgling birds were added per year. The most recent count of the Grey-breasted Parakeet has the current total at a whopping 1, 165 fledglings. More exciting was the upgrade of the Conservation List for the bird from critically endangered to endangered. For many of us, this positive increase means that the bird once thought to become extinct will now fight to become a normal population once again.

None of this kind of conservation begins without devoted conservationists willing to upend their own lives in favor of bringing back a species that are almost gone. It takes love, dedication, and a combined effort by interested government to create a fertile plan for birds (and other animals, plants, and insects) to adapt and to proliferate fast enough. Ingenuity and technology work hand in hand to develop ways for endangered species to beat the odds. Our hearts are always happy for those who work hard to stabilize a disappearing life force.

3 thoughts on “Grey-breasted Parakeets Winning Fight For Survival

  1. It was so refreshing to hear one so many species are flighted friends I mean into Extinction! They are beautiful birds that to me any bird is a beautiful bird 🙂

  2. Pyrrhuras are conures – like my green-cheek conure who is also a Pyrrhura. All that I’ve seen are referred to as conures, not parakeets. Why do you call them parakeets?

    1. Good question Marty! All conures are parakeets, which is a general term for a small- to medium-sized parrot with long tail feathers that doesn’t belong to the genus cacatua (like cockatiels). Quakers, for example, are referred to both as quaker parrots and quaker parakeets. Researchers and conservationists sometimes use different terminology than we use for companion birds, in this case referring to the conure as parakeet.

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