Some parrot species, although common as captive bred birds in the pet trade, are actually endangered species in the wild. These parrots are are included on CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
No matter how common a parrot is in captivity, if it is rare in the wild it is still classified as endangered by CITES. If your bird is one of the species on the CITES list, the law states that it must have leg rings or microchips to identify it, and all the correct breeders' paperwork too. In the USA this is issued by the US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS). Breeders will have the relevant paperwork when you buy the bird.
The African Grey is one of many species on the CITES List
If the seller does not have these legally-required documents, it is a criminal offence. It is also an offence to purchase such a bird.
Some of the commonest CITES parrots encountered in the pet trade are listed below. (Note: for a complete list, contact the FWS).
- Mullocan (Salmon-crested) Cockatoo
- Lesser sulphur-crested (Yellow-crested) Cockatoo
- Citron (Citron-crested) Cockatoo
- Palm Cockatoo
- Lilac-crowned (Finsch’s) Amazon
- Mexican Red-headed (Green-cheeked) Amazon
- Hyacinth Macaw
- Scarlet Macaw
- Military Macaw
- Red fronted Macaw
- Blue-throated Conure
- African Grey