Story | 31 May, 2024

Celebrating World Parrot Day: Introducing the IUCN SSC Wild Parrot Specialist Group to Boost Global Parrot Conservation

On this 20th anniversary of World Parrot Day, we continue to celebrate the incredible beauty, diversity, and ecological importance of parrots with the announcement of the creation of the IUCN SSC Wild Parrot Specialist Group (WPaSG).

Parrots, encompassing nearly 400 species, are a remarkably diverse group but also one of the most endangered among birds. Currently, one in three parrot species is listed in the threatened categories (VU, EN, CR, EW) on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. This status is due to various threats, including extensive habitat loss and degradation, illegal and unsustainable wild bird trade, disease and zoo epidemics, invasive species, and heightened vulnerability to climate change, among other factors. Also, all but four species are currently listed on the different appendices of CITES due to the risk posed internationally by trade. 

The newly created Wild Parrot Specialist Group includes members of the parrot conservation community around the world, uniquely situated to detect, monitor and manage, advise and inform decision-makers, funders, scientific communities and interested members of the public, communities, and other stakeholders about the perils impacting this taxonomic group world-wide. The term “wild” reflects the ultimate focus of the Group on the conservation of wild parrot populations but at the same time acknowledges the conservation potential of formal breeding programs and the benefits of the One Plan Approach to species conservation. 

“Parrots are quite an important group of birds globally, but the SSC has not had a group devoted to it for a long time. I believe the newly established Wild Parrot Specialist Group offers a functional and efficient platform which is very much needed within the SSC” indicated Jon Paul Rodríguez, Chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission. 

By supporting conservation risk assessments for wild species and populations, prioritising planning needs, initiating, enabling, and facilitating appropriate and inclusive conservation planning, as well as considering all available conservation tools to encourage and support conservation action in the Assess-Plan-Act cycle at all levels of participation, the Wild Parrot Specialist Group provides cohesive structure to address the many needs of parrots in peril. 

Given the myriad of challenges and broad geographical distribution of these species, the newly established WPaSG is by necessity also broad-based, inclusive, and welcoming of a diversity of skills, experience and specialisation.

As we celebrate World Parrot Day, the newly established WPaSG looks forward with great optimism to facilitating and implementing a coordinated response to the complex and multifaceted challenges that parrots face through creating synergy between the various institutions and subject matter experts working to protect parrot populations in the wild.

For more information about the newly hatched Specialist Group, kindly contact the Co-Chairs, Patricia Latas and José Antonio Díaz Luque at