Wednesday, April 16, 2008

More information on proposed Wisconsin quaker ban

We wanted to update our readers with information that has been communicated to several of our volunteers from the DNR in response to e-mails that were sent.

Directly quoted from the e-mail (another e-mail was also received; however, the wording seemed less confusing in this one):

"The DNR is not seeking to restrict (ban) pet ownership or sales of monk parrots, and I think you are misinformed or misunderstand the rule's language. I am not sure where you obtained your information, but you might want to read the draft rule for yourself in the attachment, if you have not done so. Pages 16-17 specifically address monk parrot status. We will be improving the draft language to make it more clear that possession and sale of them is legal. Under the staff's DRAFT rules, monk parrots will be classified as a prohibited terrestrial and aquatic vertebrate invasive species along with Russian boar, feral swine and mute swan. The draft rules state that no person may transport, possess, transfer or introduce a prohibited invasive species such as a monk parrot unless one or more of the following applies:

- the monk parrot is a legally obtained nonnative wild animal that is a pet, in which case it may be possessed, transported or transferred, but not introduced, without a permit under these rules. (Notice it is stated that animals must be legally obtained. Apparently there are many cage birds in the pet trade that are not obtained legally within the country of origin, smuggled, etc.)

- the department determines that the transportation, possession, transfer or introduction was incidental or unknowing, and was not due to the person’s failure to take reasonable precautions.

- the person has a department permit issued under the rules to transport, possess, transfer or introduce the bird for research, education, identification, control or disposal or for other purposes specified by the department in the permit.

Introducing them, or any nonnative wild animal, to the wild is currently and will continue to be illegal, and this is the critical issue. Should monk parrots become established anywhere in the state and for whatever reason, their prohibited status in the draft rule would allow for their control in the wild if necessary. Based upon the experiences of other states and countries, it seems highly probable that, should monk parrots become established in the wild in WI, there will be a variety of problems associated with them. We want to avoid that situation.

We are not trying to slip anything past the public. Six public listening session were held around the state in January, 2008 to obtain initial public response. After numerous modifications, we are now seeking Natural Resources Board approval to hold formal public hearings sometime this summer. We anticipate further modification of the rule, based upon comments from the public hearings, before seeking NRB approval. As mentioned above, it is clear that we will improve the language pertaining to monk parrot possession and transfer."

If the draft passes and becomes the actual law, it appears as though legally-obtained pet quakers will still be legal. The state is just trying to proactively find a solution in case quakers establish feral colonies here, like they have in Chicago, Barcelona, and many other cities.

However, as listening sessions are scheduled to be held over the summer, there is always the possibility that the final version may not exactly mirror the draft version. We will keep you updated as to any developments in this manner.

Thanks to those of you who contacted your representatives to let them know your views, and thanks to the DNR for providing a civil and polite response to those inquiries!

Photos: The top photo is of Missy, a quaker that spent many months here before recently finding her new home. The bottom photo is of Sam, who loves hanging out in her little house!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Wisconsin considering quaker ban

Wisconsin is currently considering naming quaker parakeets (aka monk parakeets) an invasive species and banning them. Here is information from the DNR's website.

Please contact your representatives and voice your concern over this matter.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Saving cockatiel lives

CARE recently had two cockatiels transferred to us from a local humane society. Obviously sick, we rushed them to the vet, and they were diagnosed with lockjaw, which comes from the parents. It also has a very poor prognosis.

Lemon, a lutino cockatiel, was in worse shape than her cagemate. (We do not have a picture of these birds available yet, but the above picture is of a healthy lutino cockatiel that was surrendered to us last year).

She required extensive care from us. Lemon needed to be gavaged several times a day -- a task made more difficult by the fact that she could barely open her mouth. We had to clean out her eyes and nares three times a day in order to get the mucus out. She had to be given two antibiotics and one pain medication. Additionally, we did physical therapy three times per day to make sure her beak wouldn't clamp shut.

Her cagemate showed fewer signs -- basically just the sniffles. He was treated and, after receiving a clean bill of health, adopted into his new home.

Lemon just went for her three week vet check and is doing great. Her liver levels are a little high yet, so we're treating her with a different antibiotic for two more weeks, then will test her again. Hopefully, at that time she will be released to go to her new home.

Most people wouldn't even try to save a lockjaw bird the prognosis is so poor. But we believe in giving every bird that comes to us a fighting chance.