WCS 3-Sentence Science

Protecting Dead Parrots to Conserve the Living

CREDIT: NATHAN WHITMORE/WCS
  1. The red feathers of Pesquet’s Parrot (Psittrichas fulgidus) are highly sought after for use in the ceremonial headdresses of the highland cultures of Papuan New Guinea, however, it is unclear whether the harvest for headdresses represents a serious threat to the species’ survival.
  2. Using a combination of surveying techniques and mathematical methods the researchers revealed around 8 percent of the estimated wild population of Pesquet’s Parrots would likely be harvested annually just for Kerowagi district alone.
  3. Given that a greater number of Pesquet’s Parrot exist in headdresses than are alive in the wild, the researchers suggest that the most practical and cost effective intervention would be to focus on prolonging the lifespan of existing headdresses rather than attempting to protect the species from hunting in remote areas of forest.

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Wildlife Conservation Society

Wildlife Conservation Society

WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature.

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