Kissing Scarlet Macaw parrots in Mexico. Photo: Getty

In Yucatan, 400 songbirds are captured daily to be sold as pets. From there, their lives are in peril, and the wildlife they are stolen from suffers.

Of every 10 parrots and macaws, eight die in even before they are sold as pets, said José Pier Medina, director of the Proyecto Santamaría. The group meets today for a forum on the topic at the Victoria Hotel from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Academics and experts on the subject will participate in the forum, as well as the presence of Yucatecan senator Jorge Carlos Ramírez Marín. The objective of the event lies in raising awareness about the importance of the conservation of wild birds and the role they play in ecological balance.

Santamaría Project is an association that involves both the conservation of endemic birds and the preservation of their natural habitats. For 10 years they have launched various actions in favor of the peninsula’s fauna.

Pier Medina told a reporter at La Jornada Maya that the trade and hunting of songbirds is causing significant damage to wildlife.

In Mexico there are 22 species of parrot and all are registered under NOM-059, that is, they are protected according to their risk category.

Medina said that gathering sufficient evidence to prosecute bird poachers in the jungle is difficult, and the justice system is lax.

Despite the efforts of the Federal Environmental Protection Agency, Profepa, in Merida the demand for parrots is increasing and the trade is more lucrative, he warned.