Making strides to conserve African Grey Parrots in Cameroon

The Limbe Wildlife Centre (LWC) is a place of safety for any victim of the illegal wildlife trade. One of the important species specific conservation projects run by the centre is for the endangered African Grey Parrot. These intelligent birds are being stolen from the wild to be sold in the illegal pet trade. So since 1993, we have worked on the ground with law enforcement to rehabilitate seized parrots to return them to the wild. Without rescue facilities such as the LWC, law enforcement agencies would have nowhere to place seized parrots.

Over the last few months we’ve made a number of important strides in our work to conserve these incredible yet endangered animals. For example, in June 2019 we cemented our role as a national rescue centre for African Grey Parrots. In collaboration with the relevant agencies, we rescued 19 individuals that were seized in the port of Kribi. Sadly these individuals were illegally captured and destined for an unnatural and cruel life in the pet trade. Fortunately, they are now safe at the LWC and receiving the care they need.

Furthermore, works are well underway for our new African Grey Parrot rehabilitation aviary. Ultimately this large 22m x 11m aviary will change the lives of many rescued parrots. Because of this aviary, they will learn to fly again much faster, and thereby reduce the time spent in captivity. Normally the rescued birds arrive in a terrible condition and require a great deal of specialist care. As their flight feathers are often cut by poachers, they must grow back. Afterwards, each bird must learn to fly again. This aviary will therefore be integral to facilitate a faster rehabilitation. Furthermore, it will also increase our capacity to rescue more parrots and ultimately, will enable us to release more of these endangered animals back into the wild to restore dwindling wild populations.

Once the aviary is complete, the next step in our conservation project will involve fitting trackers on the released birds. In doing so, we will collect crucial data on survivorship, distribution, migration patterns and rate of recapture. This will be the first of such a project worldwide. See below a photo of the aviary construction so far!

Media coverage

Alongside our crucial rescue and rehabilitation efforts, we are also working to raise awareness of the plight of African Grey Parrots through educating Cameroonians through a billboard campaign in the city of Limbe, and also through developing a comprehensive educational board in the wildlife centre. Furthermore we secured the following recent media exposure in order to draw the world’s attention to the need to protect and conserve African Grey Parrots:

Whilst we are proud of the progress made to date with the support of our partners and supporters, we must not take our foot off the accelerator.  We must continue to work together to #ProtectWildlife!

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