Date: November 22, 2017
Source: Faculty of Science - University of Copenhagen
Trade of wild birds has dropped about 90% globally since the EU banned bird imports in 2005. A study published in the journal Science Advances demonstrates how the EU's ban decreased the number of birds traded annually from about 1.3 million to 130,000. International trade of wild birds is a root cause of exotic birds spreading worldwide. The study was led by scientists from the Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate, University of Copenhagen and CIBIO-InBIO Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, University of Porto.
Birds are the most traded animals in the world. Historically, Europe has been the main importer of wild birds globally. Before 2005, when the EU banned trade of wild birds, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain accounted for the import of two thirds of all wild birds sold on the global market. The birds mainly came from West Africa, with 70% of exported birds coming from Guinea, Mali and Senegal. Diederik Strubbe from the Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate, University of Copenhagen, elaborates,
When wild birds are caught and sold to another country it has consequences in both areas. In the country the birds are captured, it can lead to biodiversity loss. Likewise, our study shows that international bird trade is a main cause of exotic birds spreading around the world. The birds can damage local ecosystems, destroy crops and outcompete local birds. The EU trade ban, and the following dramatic drop in the number of traded birds, has strongly reduced this risk across most of the globe.