Sun Conures endangered in the wild, but still popular pets

Sun Conures, Aratinga solstitialis.
Image via Wikipedia

What a wonderful site it must be to see flocks of Sun Conures in the wild in their natural environment. Wild Sun Conures usually stay in flocks of 20 to 30 others so the site would be a colorful and noisy experience. However Sun Conures are considered endangered in the wild. There are more Sun Conures as pets than there are in the wild.

Sun Conures are listed endangered in the wild

Primarily located in North East Brazil and in parts of Venezuela according to World Parrot Trust there are just 1000 to 2500 Sun Conures in the wild. In 2008 Sun Conures were listed as Endangered by the IUCN Red List. Many have been trapped and sold off as pets or have lost habitat because of deforestation. Sun conures also are called Sun Parakeets or by their scientific name Aratinga solstitialis.  

The 1992 Wild Bird Conservation Act

In 1992 the United States banned the importation of wild parrots including Sun Conures with the Wild Bird Conservation Act. Before the passage of the act, huge numbers of parrots, possibly as many as 800,000 a year, were imported into the United States. Many those imported parrots died in route or faced a life with little interaction in a cage.  Only recently in 2007 did the European Union ban importation of wild caught birds.  Illegal smuggling is still a problem however with an untold amount of birds being poached.

Now of course Sun Conures are popular pet store parrots. People seeing them in the pet store are drawn to their beautiful coloring without knowning the ramification of caring for such an intelligent and spirited creature.  It is indeed sad to think that there are more Sun Conures in peoples homes than there are Sun Conures in the wild.

Before the banning on importation of parrots, the supply of parrots could not keep up with the demand, decimating many populations of wild parrots including Sun Conures. We hope that one day, with education, protection, and the unique qualities of these amazing creatures that someday it may be possible to see many wild flocks of Sun Conures in their native lands once again.

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