The Cayman Parrot is the common name for two parrot subspecies that are found only on Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac. Originally listed as a game bird, the Cayman Parrot was given full protection under the Animals (Protection) Regulations, 1989. However, the “grandfathering” in of already captive pet parrots has made these regulations largely unenforceable. Illegal trapping for the local pet trade and persistent illegal hunting as a crop pest continues on Grand Cayman, as well as on Cayman Brac, though to a lesser extent. Appropriate regulation and enforcement of the pet trade is an essential step in protecting Cayman Parrots, especially at a time when the natural habitats of these birds are disappearing around the Cayman Islands.
(These two baby parrots were rescued by DoE staff in early 2019. Cayman parrots are still being poached from their nests and sold to those who want to keep them as pets. Photo: Jane Haakonsson)
The project proposes to register all captive birds and their parentage, which will allow members of the public a period during which they can register their parrots with unique identifiers including bands and microchips. This will enable enforcement officers to readily identify poached parrots and enforce the law. Registration will be carried out through house calls upon request. Registered parrot owners will receive a free health check for their bird as well as educational material regarding how to care for their parrot. They will also receive one identification leg band and a free microchip implantation procedure.