Monks from South America are among the most popular pets in this country. The birds can imitate human speech, they are playful and quite intelligent. Therefore, they are also among the most traded animals worldwide. And the largest market for wild birds such as the black-eared parakeet was for a long time in the European Union: Two thirds of all world-traded wild birds found their buyers on the European continent - at least until 2005. At that time the EU issued a ban on the trade of wild birds. What were the consequences for the worldwide trade of wild birds? Researchers from Germany, Portugal, Spain, Denmark and Belgium investigated this question for the period from 1995 to 2011. Their results have recently been published in the journal "Science Advances" .
Accordingly, the trade ban had a significant impact: the number of wild birds traded fell from 1.3 million a year to 130, 000. The reason for the 2005 ban was bird flu. The spread of the pathogen should be contained in this way. But the ban also reduced other negative effects: Because the trade in wild animals fuels the worldwide extinction of species. In addition, the exotics often invade the ecosystems of their new homeland and spread there quickly, because they have no natural enemies.
If the EU ban has also severely limited the global wild bird trade, "we note a shift in trade routes and export regions to regions with particularly high biodiversity. For example, more and more birds are being exported from South America to Central and North America, "the research team admits. "A worldwide ban is therefore essential for species conservation."
Photo: Marine Le Louarn© science.de - Jana Burczyk advertisement