Poor management of mini avian zoos, illegal avian parks and unregistered aviaries impacting bird life in developing and under developed nations

 

S. K. Basu1; P. Zandi2* and W. Cetzal-Ix 3

1UFL, Lethbridge, AB, Canada; 2IA University; Takestan, Iran; 3CICY, Mérida, Yucatán, México; *email: z_rice_b@yahoo.com Phone:+989375836734          

 

Several mini avian zoos are parts of the cityscapes of several developed and under developed nations as attempts for city and town beautifications and for adding to tourist destinations. These approaches includes caged animals and birds in small city parks and gardens, traditional temple zoo gardens, temple animal and birds, mini avian zoos for attracting children in satellite townships, children’s park, animal and bird rehabilitation centers, bird parks and bird gardens, non-professional aviaries dealing with exotic bird species, legal and illegal pet markets, private avian zoos and aviaries. Although they sound very exciting and interesting; unfortunately the ground realities are not so rosy. Many of these small and mini avian zoos are poorly managed and maintained by untrained and unskilled professionals. Often the major interests in establishing such non-professional and non-certified aviaries are for attracting visitors and earning quick money with minimal care and support provided to the helpless and defenseless animals and birds. The conditions of the birds are particularly pathetic die to the fact that they are framed into small cages with little or no space for free movements, inadequate food and water, poor veterinary support and most unfortunate ill treatments in the hands of their untrained and unskilled handlers and the support staff.

 

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Several of these unfortunate caged birds are subjected to daily harassment by the unruly tourists and visitors who consider hackling the unfortunate species as their natural rights. The security, monitoring and surveillance of these bird centers being inadequate and thoroughly non-professional, the level of mismanagement is expectedly quite high. Due to lack of proper diet and nutrition the birds are mostly sick, weak and dehydrated; and usually suffer from a number of communicable diseases. Weekly death of avian members in such poorly managed centers is quite common. Even death does not leave the avian species free from exploitation; as the dead birds in good conditions are sent to the taxidermists; and the final extremely expensive, taxidermy products again get back to the market for potential customers who enjoy adorning their homes and offices with dead birds procured from such illegal avian zoos. It is quite unfortunate that several of such avian zoos and avian parks are ran in developing and under developed nations without any registration,  license and permission from the city and town authorities; or by using forged documents without appropriate permission and authorization.

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The free spaces created by dead birds in these centers are again replaced by wild harvest from the adjoining forests; resulting in establishing a vicious cycle too difficult to eradicate by the local law enforcing agencies. As a consequence, a system of ruthless exploitation is established that leads to the loss of a number of threatened and endangered local avian species. It is sad to note that many such vulnerable bird species have been ruthlessly exploited before any proper estimates of their actual or tentative populations could be made through a scientific survey in their natural habitats. What is more alarming is that in absence of any stringent legislation and proper monitoring by local environmental and conservation agencies; the trend is  being replicated with efficiency and enthusiasm in more and more cities and townships in developing and under developed nations.

 

Unless strict legislation is introduced in reducing the scope and exponential growth of such mini zoo gardens, unauthorized avian parks etc along with strict monitoring and surveillance by law enforcement agencies in these countries the future of several exploited bird species appear to be grim. It will be important for all the stakeholders such as the local governments and administrations, law enforcement, environmental and conservation agencies, animal rights group and activist forums, non-government organizations dedicated to the cause of prevention of cruelty to captive animal and birds and conservation and general public needs to come and join hands in their efforts in closing down several of these poorly managed zoo gardens, avian parks and unregistered and illegal aviaries in many developing and under developed nations.

 

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