Bird trade and import ban research

A university student has begun a study of the wild bird trade to find out how it affects bird conservation. Cage & Aviary Birds reader Phillip Greenwood, 32, from Wales, is studying Wildlife Management and Conservation as a mature student. His Masters degree thesis will focus on the trade in wild birds, including attitudes to the current EU ban. Mr Greenwood said: “I chose this topic because I wanted to know more about how the pet trade operates and how it influences conservation. My two main areas of interest are aviculture and the ornamental aquatic trade, particularly those species still harvested from the wild. “With ‘sustainability’ be-coming a global buzzword, I wish to see if it is also applicable to the pet trade.” He added: “I have a strong personal interest, because for about 12 years I had a large, productive, mixed collection of exotic birds, which I found incredibly enjoyable and rewarding, and also kept tropical marine fish. “I am curious about how some species are ‘ranched’ in the wild and offer a sustainable income for indigenous people.” Now Mr Greenwood hopes that birdkeepers will be able to help him understand the subject better by taking part in an online survey. Some of the questions that he asks in the survey are: ■ With the ban on import of birds, do you think that it should also be applied to all wild- caught animals? ■ Do you agree with the ban on importing wild birds? ■ If you do not agree with the ban on wild birds, why? ■ What changes, if any, would you like to see take place in aviculture in relation to animal trade or conservation? Mr Greenwood said: “Getting the thoughts of other birdkeepers, bird-lovers and conservationists on the topic will be a huge help. “The thesis has no bias, it has no agenda to fill, and I am certainly not anti-pet-keeping. Hopefully I can derive some interesting insights into the topic.” To take part in the survey, visit www.animalcareresearch.org.uk