Major Mitchell's cockatoo

Parrots at Risk

Wild parrots face challenges. One is habitat loss. People and parrots sometimes compete for space. Places where parrots live are cleared of trees. This is called deforestation.

A changing climate can change habitats, too. Birds must find food. They must build nests. Parrots face another danger. People want them as pets.

This blue‑throated macaw is endangered.

Parrot Diversity

Parrots can be found on five continents.

North America

South America





Amazon Basin

New Guinea

African gray parrot range

number of parrot species



Palm cockatoos, like this one, lay only one egg every two years.

Parrots are popular

How do wild parrots end up as pets? Crime groups make money selling wild animals. For example, they can sell one kind of wild parrot for $30,000.

There is one type of parrot that many people want. It is called an African gray. They are the best talkers. More than one million have been taken from the wild. Then they are sold as pets.

This type of wildlife trade is illegal. The United States fights against it. Many other countries do, too. They pass laws to keep wild animals safe. To sell these birds now, breeders must prove they were raised in captivity. They cannot be caught in the wild.

African gray parrots

This Alexandrine parakeet looks like it is wearing a mask.