Straw-headed bulbul and white-rumped shama, prized for their singing ability, have plummeted in the wild from unsustainable trade
“The decision to increase protection under CITES will help to ensure that these songbirds will not go silent.” — Dr. Elizabeth L. Bennett, Vice President of Species Conservation for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)
Hi-res images of Straw-headed bulbul
Hi-res images of white-rumped shama
PANAMA CITY, Panama (Nov. 21, 2022) -- CITES CoP19 Parties adopted by consensus to list the straw-headed bulbul under CITES Appendix I and to list the white-rumped shama on CITES Appendix II. Final adoption in Plenary is expected in the coming days.
Said Dr. Elizabeth L. Bennett, Vice President of Species Conservation for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS):
“The vote to protect the straw-headed bulbul under CITES Appendix I, and the white-rumped shama on CITES Appendix II will help to ensure that these two songbirds will not go silent. All international commercial trade in the straw-headed bulbul is now prohibited, and all international trade for the white-rumped shama is now regulated and monitored to ensure that it does not threaten wild populations.
“The large-scale capture and trade of songbirds for the national and international trade is often illegal, and almost inevitably unsustainable, and is leading to major declines of an increasing number of species in the wild. The scale of the trade can be huge, with large commercial markets in cities in countries across parts of Asia and beyond.
“The straw-headed bulbul, which the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) now lists as Critically Endangered, has declined by more than 80 percent over the last 15 years. This is almost solely due to trapping for the cage bird trade. Even though it can be bred in captivity, wild-caught birds are often considered superior singers so are still sought after. Trapping for trade in the straw-headed bulbul has reduced the wild population to fewer than 1,700 mature individuals, with the only known viable population in Singapore. In Southeast Asia, local extinctions of the white-rumped shama have occurred in many regions as a direct result of trapping for the cage bird trade.
“Without greater protection under CITES, the songbird trade would render forests in Southeast Asia increasingly silent, with whole cities devoid of wild birds and their songs.
“WCS thanks Malaysia, Singapore and the U.S. which led the effort to list the straw-headed bulbul and white-rumped shama on CITES Appendix I; and Malaysia and Singapore led the effort to list the while-headed shama under Appendix II.”
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