The Andes of southern South America form a hostile mountain range with glaciers, salty deserts and high elevation steppes. Birds from more moderate climate zones cross this mountain range only rarely. Nevertheless, many species live on both sides of the Andes, as in the case of the burrowing parrot Cyanoliseus patagonus.
Entries in Cyanoliseus patagonus - Burrowing Parrot (5)
Illegal wildlife traffickers in Argentina are bleaching the plumage of common parrots and passing them off as their rarer and more valuable cousins. Wildlife groups say the burrowing parrot, a breed that inhabits most of the country’s territory, is being captured in large numbers and dyed in order to give it the appearance of a much rarer Amazon species that can fetch at least double the price on the thriving black market.
The bird, which has an olive green back, blue wings and a yellow belly with a red stain, is given a hydrogen peroxide bath to give it the appearance of a blue-and-yellow macaw, which has a much higher price tag of up to $530. They are then sold at fairs in Buenos Aires and elsewhere as part of an illegal trade in exotic wildlife worth millions of dollars annually.
The lost parrot flew into the prison and was found by a member of staff, who took it into the RSCPA’s Taylor’s Rehoming Centre in Dorchester.
Tess Every, deputy manager of the centre in the grounds of Kingston Maurward College, said: “He flew up to the member of staff because he was very tame.
“She brought him in to us and we advertised him and gave him a chance to be claimed.
“We gave the owners seven days to come forward but with no luck.”
The Patagonian Conure parrot was eventually adopted by centre volunteer Fran Ponting, who took the bird on as a friend for the yellow-naped Amazon parrot she already had at home.