Relocation of Endangered Parrots Delayed by Barbados Ministry of Environment

Only one zoo in North America outside of St. Vincent and Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary has managed to breed rare St. Vincent Amazon parrot.

Endangered St. Vincent Amazon parrots in limbo as Barbados Government stonewalls transfer to offshore refuge

Officials at the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary are still waiting for a response from the Barbados Ministry of Environment regarding a proposed transfer of the Sanctuary’s endangered St. Vincent Amazon parrot collection to an offshore location.

Recent break-ins, wildlife poaching and pollution are forcing the Sanctuary to seek temporary safe-haven for the collection.  The parrots at Graeme Hall are the national bird of St. Vincent, and the only such population in Barbados.

Earlier this year one of the St. Vincent parrots was found dead after being assaulted by intruders.  Unpredictable water quality, security and other factors are major concerns for the internationally-recognized St. Vincent breeding programme in Barbados.

Officials cited international protocols as the reason for asking the Ministry of Environment for guidance.  Under international law moving rare species from one country to another must be done in close cooperation with the species’ host country and the country of origin.  So far the St. Vincent government has given its recommendation for relocation of the parrots.

“Barbados is the official host to the St. Vincent national bird.  They are among the rarest parrots on earth with fewer than 600 living in the wild.”
said a spokesperson from the Sanctuary.   “Last June we asked Minister (of Environment) Denis Lowe one question:  ‘Subject to appropriate national and international regulations, would the Government of Barbados be supportive of temporary relocation of the St. Vincent Parrot population?'”

If the Barbados Ministry of Environment is in favor of allowing the birds to leave Barbadian soil, then permissions may be sought from CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) and the destination country agency tasked with administering local and international wildlife regulations.

But there is a possibility that the government of Barbados may consider hosting of the birds as an issue of national interest, and may consider that the retention of the birds on Barbadian soil would be a matter of courtesy to the government of St. Vincent.

“We just don’t know what they (government) want,” said a Sanctuary official.

The Sanctuary and the surrounding Graeme Hall area is recognized as an international wetland of critical importance and a RAMSAR site under the Convention on Wetlands treaty.

The owner of the Sanctuary, Mr. Peter Allard, has made formal allegations that Barbados has illegally dumped tens of thousands of gallons of raw sewage into the wetland instead of using the approved emergency sewerage discharge structure at Worthing Beach, allegedly violating international environmental treaty conditions and Barbados’ environmental protection laws.

Since 1994 Mr. Allard has invested more than $35 million (US) in the 35-acre Sanctuary to preserve the last significant mangrove woodland and wetland on the island.

Further Reading

Feb 11, 2010: Barbados Environment Minister caught lying again about Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary Dispute

May 7, 2010  Major Environmental Engineering study slams Barbados Government over imminent death of last Mangrove wetland. Government destroying RAMSAR natural heritage site.

May 20, 2010 The broken sluice gate the Barbados Government refuses to repair – killing our Ramsar wetlands


Filed under Barbados, Environment, Offshore Investments, Wildlife

5 responses to “Relocation of Endangered Parrots Delayed by Barbados Ministry of Environment

  1. puzzled

    Can’t this move be made even if the government was approached and has not given back a response as yet, why it always has to be government cant we as a people do things or our own an we want to sat we are independent please i’m sure there is an alternative solution.

  2. Ordinary Person

    It’s not about parrots. It’s about the government aligned itself in a vendetta against Mr. Allard. This story has the potential to poison the world against Barbados more than any other news story. The truth is a hard mistress and she’s going to bite Barbados where it hurts if we don’t make this injustice right.

    A man spends millions like a fool but a good hearted fool and all Barbados does is shit upon him. This will not end well for Barbados if left to fester.

  3. GHNS

    The question posed by “Puzzled” is legitimate, but it ignores protocol.

    Unfortunately, many who own very rare species don’t realize or choose to ignore that transfer of endangered species classified under “Appendix 1” of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) should also be in accordance with the national interests of St. Vincent and Barbados. This is the first question that must be asked.

    Depending on the answer, appropriate actions can be taken to transfer the species overseas or keep them on Barbadian soil.

    The letter to the Ministry was respectful of the host nation role that Barbados has in this matter. The St. Vincent parrots are the flagship icon of St. Vincent and extremely rare. The Sanctuary first asked the government of St. Vincent about their position as it is their national bird, as they vigorously monitor the locations of their species worldwide. As host to this species, the Barbados government deserves no less courtesy.

    It’s about doing something right for the birds, St. Vincent and Barbados. Nothing else.

  4. Jinx

    The environment is simply not a priority for the Barbados Government!

  5. Please re-read your submission b4 clicking on Submit Comment!

    The question posed by “Puzzled”
    is so poorly worded and punctuated
    that I simply gave up trying to figure out
    what D.Body was trying to get across to us!!