Wild Bird Trapping in the Amazon: Executive Summary

The amazon rainforest is the most diverse bird environment in the world. It contains thousands of different species of birds from tiny songbirds, to large predator birds. They each have their own unique aspect like the ability to sing, or have beautifully colored feathers. These attributes make them highly desirable for local and worldwide markets. Local merchants will horde large amounts of birds from trappers and sell them at the local markets. Often selling cute little birds to happy tourists without much difficulty. The world market is where it gets a lot more serious, with websites that are not difficult to find people can continue to put money into this market to keep it going. Hundreds of thousands of birds are captured routinely in order to be packaged and shipped. A large portion of these birds will die before they can even make it to their destination due to the conditions they are kept in. Trappers work diligently to discover where the birds are nesting and set up nets and traps for the birds. Thanks to general de-forestation it has reduced the possible nesting area’s, placing them in a more confined locations making it easier for the trappers. Catching the birds puts an enormous amount of stress on them, so much so that the stress alone can kill them while they are stuck in a trap.  Only in recent years have we begun to take steps towards creating legislation to work towards protecting the birds. With the help from world leaders like the United States we created the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, which helps prevent the selling of endangered birds. This convention was made back in the 1900’s but it wasn’t until 2007 that the EU stopped importing wild birds, leaving a dent in the market.  Not every country is a part of these acts and conventions to save the wildlife population. This keeps the market for the birds in place and encourages people to continue to hunt birds. People of the amazon know that birds are difficult to come by and trap as a side job for income, along with their regular job. This type of opportunity brings about many trappers, upwards of 20,000, with each catching a small number of birds a day or week adds up extremely fast. Leaving the bird population in a direction that has already left many of the bird species to extinction.

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