Uganda conservation news – UWA releases confiscated African Grey’s


Last week saw the release of most of the African Grey parrots, which were confiscated by UWA and customs officials at the Mpondwe border post between Uganda and Congo DR last year.

Initially kept at the Wildlife Education Centre in Entebbe, where they were assessed and as necessary received veterinary treatment, the ever rarer birds were set free in Kibale National Park to enjoy their life in a habitat where there is enough food for them and the space to roam and breed.

It was learned that amongst the over 200 birds initially released were also others taken from a private residence along the Entebbe highway, where the African Grey is often found in patches of forests and regularly trapped by illegal traders, since a bird can fetch as much as 2.000 US Dollars in overseas markets. The remainder of the parrots still kept at UWEC are also due for release soon at another location upcountry.

Sections of the expatriate community too are said to be keen to display the birds in cages at their posh residences, fueled by UWA’s policy to issue permits for keeping inspite of the illegal captures. The African Grey has progressively disappeared from areas near Kampala but appears readily available on a thriving black market for this and many other attractively coloured species of birds.

Time to act on these transgressions, diplomatic status of many of the keepers in Kampala notwithstanding. 


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