Birds of a Feather

CITES COP 13, Bangkok, Thailand, October 2-14, 2004

The Yellow-crested cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea), exploited historically for the international pet trade, barely survives in Indonesia's and Timor-Leste's forests. One subspecies on Masakambing Island was thought to number a meager five individuals as recently as 1999. Indonesia is wisely requesting an Appendix I CITES listing for this critically endangered bird.

Illegal trade is a global problem—adult birds are captured in the wild, reducing the number of productive individuals for breeding. They are then smuggled out of Indonesia, where they are totally protected, to countries such as Singapore, where they are illegally traded as captive bred birds.

Other birds that may receive increased CITES protection are the Lilac-crowned Amazon parrot (Amazona finschi) and the Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris); meanwhile, Namibia and the U.S. are pushing to remove international protection for the Peach-faced lovebird (Agapornis roseicollis), found in southern Africa.