Protect our Parrots – Cayman Parrot amnesty project
The terrestrial resources unit of the Department of Environment (DoE) is seeking to register all captive Cayman Parrots within a Native Bird Registration System. To accomplish this, the unit is implementing an amnesty period for current Cayman Parrot owners allowing them to register their birds and close a 20-year loophole in local law that protects Cayman’s national bird from poaching for the illegal pet trade.
The amnesty will run between 1 September, 2019 and 28 February, 2020.
How do I register my parrot?
Please call DoE at 949 8469 or email [email protected] and we will arrange a time and place for our registration team to do this for you at no charge. The registration team will take details of the parrots and its owner(s) and give the parrot a health check. They will implant a passive induction transponder (called a PIT tag) in the parrot and apply a metal leg band with a unique number. Owners will also be given advice on husbandry of their bird. There is no cost for this service.
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.