Theme: Species conservation DPCI (Danish Parrot Conservation Initiative)

Human fascination with parrots

People have already been fascinated by parrots since before the time of Alexander the Great, more than 2,300 years ago, partly because of their colourful splendor, partly because of their exciting nature. Parrots are considered the most intelligent of all kinds of birds, which contributes to the fact that in some areas they have features that can appear human-like. Parrots are good at adapting to many different conditions, and they are naturally found on all the world's continents with the exception of Antarctica, Europe and North America (on the latter continent, different parrot species have been introduced into nature after the original species have been exterminated by mankind). Parrots inhabit many different habitats from snowy mountain peaks and tropical rainforests and savannahs to barren desert-like areas. Many parrot species live in complex social structures that we as humans can reflect on, and many species often choose a mate for the rest of their lives, which in some cases can correspond to an entire life for a human.

While man has hunted and caught parrots since ancient times, their incredible popularity as "man's feathered friends" has had major - and in many cases catastrophic - consequences for a number of parrot species over recent years.

The background to DPCI

The order parrots (Psittaciformes), which includes almost 400 different species and subspecies, face many challenges and threats in nature, and they are today the most threatened group of birds in the world. The reasons for this are:

  • Despite the ban on international trade, parrots are still the subject of hunting and trapping.
  • The parrots' natural habitats - not least breeding grounds - are systematically reduced and destroyed by man, e.g. through intensive forestry.
  • Parrots are persecuted in large parts of their distribution areas, as they often are considered pests in relation to cultivated crops.
  • Parrots are vulnerable to the introduction of new invasive species and diseases.

The most paradoxical thing is that the ecological effects of the extinction of parrots in the wild are largely unknown to man. Having said that, there is also a need for the species that are rare in human care - but not in nature - to systematically have their interests taken care of, as imports of wild populations from nature are no longer possible, neither in Europe nor the USA, cf. here i.a. EU's permanent import ban with effect from 1st July 2007.

The challenges

Around the world, humans keep millions of parrots as domesticated/pet birds. A smaller proportion of these birds enjoy a long and, in many ways, optimal - as well as rich - life on the basis of the care and concern they receive from well-informed and passionate owners.

But even more parrots are acquired as a kind of "consumer goods" on the basis of a sudden whim and suffer daily as a result of the owner's lack of knowledge about how these birds should be cared for optimally in human care. Optimal means not only requirements for the right physical conditions and continuous access to varied food, but also continuous mental stimulation. As a result of the lack of fulfillment of needs and neglect, many parrots live short and miserable lives, typically as domestic/pet birds.

What is DPCI?

The Danish Parrot Conservation Initiative – or simply DPCI – was started in 2016 under the auspices of a couple of private aviculturists with the aim of preserving selected parrot species in human care,

  • that are either threatened in nature, or
  • which are found in very small numbers – and are thus rare – among aviculturists, typically because they are difficult to breed and are thus extremely vulnerable populations.

DPCI acknowledges that around the world there are organizations and private aviculturists who do a great and serious job to especially save the parrots that are threatened with extinction in the wild.

DPCI's collection of parrots includes only a few selected species that meet the above requirements, but the effort must be seen in the context of other international initiatives in the area.

DPCI's objective

DPCI works exclusively with natural regeneration of rare and endangered parrots in human care, as it helps to ensure the natural instincts of the offspring and thus the possibility of long-term survival, since the young parrots are thus equipped with the natural immune defenses of the parent birds from the start of their lives.

More precisely, the objective is:

In human care, to preserve selected parrot species that are either rare in nature or only exist in

very small numbers among aviculturists through targeted natural regeneration.

The goal is also that DCPI continuously ensures that the population of the selected species lives long, healthy and happy. Therefore, the welfare of the parrots is always in focus, and therefore the entire population is tested for serious infectious diseases and is subject to continuous veterinary supervision.

DPCI's activities are not commercially based, and DPCI's collection of parrots or any offspring are not sold, unless they are surplus birds, which can be sold to experienced aviculturists who already work with the species in question and will be able to use sold parrots in efforts to ensure the survival of the species. DPCI only purchases the selected parrot species, which are systematically worked on to ensure an optimal and long-term genetic basis. Exceptionally, there may also be an exchange of individual parrots with serious breeders and bird parks, etc., who have demonstrably and systematically worked with a particular species for several years, in order to ensure access to genetic diversity.

DPCI is also open to long-term cooperation with international organizations that can professionally manage controlled reintroductions into the wild of specimens reared in human care under the auspices of DPCI to the extent that it may be found justifiable.

Activities under the auspices of DPCI

DPCI's main activities are:

  1. Targeted work with natural breeding of a few selected parrot species that are either rare in nature or only found in small numbers in human care.
  2. The species that are represented under the auspices of DPCI are kept as a minimum in pairs to ensure biologically correct behaviour. If the parrots in nature move in flocks, the aim is that the population reflects this relationship.
  3. Use as much as possible the latest scientific knowledge in the field, but also builds on many years of accumulated experience among serious aviculturists to ensure the aprrots' well-being and welfare as well as survival in human care.
  4. Systematic knowledge building around optimal care of these species, including regeneration, based on biologically correct behaviour.
  5. Dissemination of knowledge and exchange of experience in relation to other serious initiatives working with similar species.
  6. Cooperation with other organizations or serious, experienced private aviculturists who have demonstrably worked with the same species for several years according to a plan, e.g. exchange or lending of individual parrots to ensure their continued survival in human care.

What DPCI is not

DPCI deals exclusively with the systematic breeding of selected parrot species with the aim of creating a correct biological behaviour in human care with a view to natural regeneration.

DPCI thus does not deal with:

  • Tame pet parrots or
  • Hand-rearing of parrot chicks.

Other things

DPCI is so far a closed initiative.

If you are a serious aviculturist who has a collection of rare parrots that you are no longer able/wish to care for, you can contact DPCI regarding to discuss the possibilities of taking over the collection on the basis of a formal purchase offer. Inquiries to DPCI are for the time being handled via, and inquiries can be made via the following email:


Jorgen Petersen


Conceived/Updated: 12.02.2016 / 16.01.2024