• What's a Breeder to Do?
I and my family had hoped to
enhance the survival of several species
of birds which, without help,
would most likely appear in a future
book under "extinct." This effort was
to be our "offering" as it were - our
giving something back to nature.
We fell in love with the Golden
Conure and there our troubles began.
We eventually found some in another
state that were available. The breeder
said we'd have to get permits from the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to move
these CITES Appendix I birds across a
state line. When I called Washington,
D.C. about a permit, I was shocked at
the amount of information requested
- photos and drawings of my aviaries,
why I want the birds, details
of my bird breeding activities, what
birds I currently hold and breed,
deaths of any birds during the past six
months, etc.
Why all the details, I asked. The
polite but cool voice explained the
information was necessary to control
the transportation issues and to determine
if the applicant is qualified to
have the birds. The government wants
to know who has the birds and why. I
received the impression over the
phone that hell would freeze over
before I received a permit to get the
Golden Conures.

I was shocked at the amount of
governmental control. As the endangered
species list grows, will additional species become more difficult
to propagate - or even to own? 

A policy must be issued by the AF A
on the subject, and guidelines must be
established so we in the avian community
can police our own affairs -
not the federal government. Maybe all
the information the federal government
requires could be covered by the
MAP program through the AF A.
Soon the only birds we may have
will be the pictures in our avian
Michael H. Gilbert
Prosser, Washington

MAP is an independent voluntary
program for the certification of aviculturists
through a system of inspection
by avian veterinarians. For more
information, contact MAP, P. 0. Box
1657, Martinez, CA 94553.
The AFA Exotic Bird Registry is a
program available through the AFA
whereby you can log your quality
birds in a computerized registry system
somewhat akin to the AKC-zype
registry for dogs. These programs do
not overlap and all aviculturists are
encouraged to participate in both.
Contact the AFA Home Office at
1-800-BIRDCALL for more information.
• • •
• Where's the Brotogeris?
The May/June 1994 edition of AFA
Watchbird front cover reads "Conures,
Forpus and Brotogeris." Great! I
raise those little guys; it's about time
someone wrote a few things; maybe I
can learn a little bit.
I cannot well enough express my
concern that any well-known Brotogeris
breeders could not take the time
to contribute an article to your magazine.
I don't wish to call it a "magazine"
because it is more a compendium
of information, uncluttered by
excessive commercial advertisements.
The reason for this letter is the lack
of any reasonable article in an issue
that advertised Brotogeris on the front

cover. Inside I found only a short
article written by Jose Aleman that, in
addition to being out of date, indicated
he no longer raises Greycheeked
Parakeets. I really feel that
you should have left off the reference
to Brotogeris on the front cover
having only that one short article. '

Tom Wettlaufer
CTW Aviary
Lake Mary, Florida
• • •
• Saving the Planet?
I have just finished reading E.O.
Wilson's The Diversity of Life, and it
helped me collect some ideas I had
about conservation issues. I tried to
articulate the discomfort I have fe~
among avicu~urists in relation to the
politically correct positions about
trade regulation bills, captive breeding
programs and other environmental
While I have pet birds and couldn't
live without them, I would never
knowingly support an environmentally
or ecologically unethical practice.
I know most of my bird club acquaintances
feel the same way. It is always
difficult to evaluate the full environmental
impact of any action, because
the issues are so complex. However, I
have felt disturbed by the simplistic
position that some articles [in avicultural
magazines] take about conservation.
Some groups seem to want us to
believe that as long as we breed
parrots we are saving the planet. I
wish this were more true. There is a
lot of misinformation and confusion
about parrot conservation among
Delia Berlin
Bolton Connecticut