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The Impact of Domestic Demand and Human Intrusion on the Habitats of Exotic or Foreign Birds and Other Animals
Over the years the demand for exotic birds and other animals for the pet marked has almost depleted wild stocks of some of these animals. This coupled with the ever expanding intrusion of mankind has ultimately led to the total or near destruction of many wild habitats that these creatures once inhabited. Fortunately nowadays lots of governments have finally realised the error of their ways and have began imposing some strict regimes in an attempt to re-establish these natural habitats; or at the very least lessen the impact of man.
Too late some may say, and in certain cases this is so but with the new rules being imposed we are at least giving our wild animals a chance. For example the UK has now banned the import of wild caught birds and other animals to help the balance of nature. All exotic and foreign animals for the pet market now have to be bred in the UK or alternatively imported from foreign breeders with stict importation regulations imposed to protect the animals. Many other countries now enforce a similar regime also.
A range of popular exotic pet birds are native to Africa and South America as well as other continents but the biggest range appears to be from Australia; such as budgerigars (called parakeets in the US), cockatiels, rosellas, some lorikeets, grass parakeets, zebra and gouldian finches, and of course the cockatoo. All pet birds from these families are available all over the world but at least in many countries they are from internal breeding stocks, or specially selected foreign breeders; but no wild caught ones. Admitedly it may be possible to get some wild caught birds that are smuggled into these countries but this is certainly not the norm. To help protect their wildlife the Australian government now enforce licencing for anyone who wishes to keep native birds in captivity.
Habitat destruction has played an important role in reducing suitable ares for these birds and other animals, and catching and hunting (some wild foreign birds are considered crop pests) has reduced their numbers in the wild dramatically. Policing of new rules to protect these species does go a long way towards preserving wildlife and the environment for the future. Unfortunately not all have the same view and pressure from animal rights activists, environment groups, and authorities in and out of government circles are proving to influence currently non-compliant countries to mend the error of their ways, but this is only the start and these issues will need to be constantly monitered and policies enforced for many decades and even centuries to come. Only by doing this can we be at all confident that things will improve for our wildlife.
Considering the length of time this habitat destruction and wildlife depletion has been going on, beginning to make changes for the better now can be considered to be too late, but at least with the recent differences of attitudes and opinions can we finally begin to see a brighter future for all animals. Only with much optimism and determination will this positive trend continue.