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Endangered Species Wednesday: Parrots

Polly want a cracker? Last week our Wednesday endangered species was the cougar, and today we have those colorful talking birds...parrots! According to the World Parrot Trust, one third of all parrot species are threatened in the wild. Let's learn more about them.

Did you know?

Many parrots can talk, but the African Gray Parrot is the easiest to train to talk...somee African gray parrots can "speak" over 700 words! Parrots generally don't mimic sounds in the wild, and when in captivity they "talk" but they don't understand anything they say. Also, parrots can live up to 80 years in captivity!

How many parrot species are there?

There are over 350 species of parrots in the world. And about 130 of those species are endangered. There are many parrots that have become instinct over the last few hundred years, not including parrots that haven't been seen in a while, such as the New Caledonian Lorikeet which has not been officially seen for 100 years but is still listed as critically endangered.

In Captivity:

Very common at zoos and as pets.

Why are parrots endangered?

Habitat loss, hunting, and wild-bird trade for some species. When buying a parrot as a pet, make sure it is not part of the wild-bird trade. People will take these birds from their native habitat and many of them won't survive long after that.

How can I help?

Visit Parrot.org for information. They've been spending 20 years saving parrots!