National animal welfare organization Best Friends Animal Society (http://www.bestfriends.org) has long advocated for homeless pets and parrot experts at the Society’s sanctuary say the pet parrot population explosion is troubling.
It’s a mathematical powder keg: skyrocketing number of parrots in the United States, plus their long lifespan, plus a lack of knowledge on how to keep these birds happy and well-adjusted. It all adds up to a looming crisis for the animal rescue community, says national animal welfare organization Best Friends Animal Society®.
Experts say the number of owned parrots, including cockatoos and macaws, soared 417 percent in the last 20 years from 11.6 million in 1990, to 40 million in 2006, and to 60 million in 2010. There could be as many as 100 million captive parrots by 2020, Best Friends experts predict. The estimated numbers were based on population forecasts, number of birds bred, and life expectancy of parrots, collected from a number of organizations including the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, and the Avian Welfare Coalition site.
“To those who rescue parrots, the entire situation is concerning to say the least,” says Jacqueline Johnson, manager of the Parrot Garden, home to about 100 of the large birds at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. “Parrots already average seven to 11 homes in their lifetime. Since many parrots have the life span of humans, re-homing is inevitable.”
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