Parrots revival plan takes wing

With plans for crossbreeding, the initiative aims to revive wild populations

Zulfiqar Baig May 14, 2024


Once packed with trees and natural habitat, the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad were home to rare birds, including parrots, but an indiscriminate cutting of trees with the passage of time led to the destruction of habitats of birds.

To restore the presence of wild parrots in the twin cities, an important meeting was held in the federal capital. The representatives of the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB), the Pakistan Wildlife Foundation (PWF), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Psittacula Breeders Association of Pakistan (PBAP) and the Ministry of Climate Change decided in principle to revive the parrots by providing them wild habitat.

Parrots and their babies will be coloured in Islamabad, Rawalpindi and other parts of Punjab and brought to the Margalla Hills National Park to adopt a wild lifestyle again. Officials will launch an awareness campaign by visiting villages and educational institutions.

Pakistan Wildlife Foundation (PWF) Vice Chairman Safwan Shahab Ahmed says that Kasur district is the habitat of wild green parrots from where the parrots visit the public parks of Lahore after a change in season. The rare breed of wild parrots is dying due to theft, he adds.

He urged the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and the Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) to take steps for the rehabilitation of green parrots. “Parrot lovers will raise their voices through their social media account,” he told the Express Tribune.

A resolution has recently been passed to impose hefty fines on both the poachers and traders of green parrots as parrots are also stolen from different parks and cemeteries of the capital, Ahmed added.

The PWF official put his weight behind improving and protecting the breed of domestic wild parrots by adopting the crossbreeding formula of Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and Japan. The crossbreeding of parrots from these countries will help change the colours of domestic parrots, he added.

“Modern branding centres should be set up in Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Gujranwala and Peshawar so that newly-produced parrots could be brought to public parks, resorts and cemeteries,” Ahmed suggested.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 14th, 2024.


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