Restoring Hope for African Grey Parrots: A Celebration of World Rewilding Day


On March 20, 2024, we celebrate World Rewilding Day, a time for us to come together and celebrate the resilience of nature, the power of restoration, and the hope it brings for our planet’s future. Here at the Jane Goodall Institute, this day holds particular significance as our teams are so dedicated to rehabilitating recovered wildlife — including a heartwarming moment earlier this year, when our team at the Tchimpounga Nature Reserve in the Republic of Congo was able to release rehabilitated African grey parrots back into their native habitat.

African grey parrots, hailing from the lush landscapes of Central Africa, are not only stunningly beautiful creatures but also possess remarkable intelligence and cognitive abilities. Unfortunately, these very qualities have made them targets of the exotic pet trade, leading to a significant decline in their wild population. African grey parrots are considered one of the world’s most trafficked birds and are classified as an endangered species.

Despite partial protections established in the 1990s, African grey parrots continue to face immense threats, including habitat loss and environmental change. The consequences of wildlife trafficking are starkly evident, with an estimated 90-99% decline in the wild population in Ghana alone over the past four decades, equating to a staggering loss of three million individuals.
However, amidst these challenges, there is hope. Through dedicated efforts and unwavering commitment, the Jane Goodall Institute, in collaboration with local authorities, has rescued and rehabilitated a total of 140 parrots. Under the compassionate care of our veterinarians at the Tchimpounga Nature Reserve, these animals are receiving the support they need to recover and thrive once more.

While the journey has not been without its heartbreak, with some losses due to the appalling conditions inflicted by traffickers, moments like the ones in this video — where rehabilitated birds fly free — are a beacon of hope for a brighter future.

As we honor World Rewilding Day, let us renew our commitment to conservation and collective action. Together, we can protect our planet’s precious biodiversity and ensure a sustainable future for generations to come.

A company of African grey parrots (>5) in their enclosure.
An African grey parrot on a branch (white feathers covering head, body covered with gray feathers, bright red tail feathers)

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