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A CRAVED Analysis of Multiple Illicit Parrot Markets in Peru and Bolivia

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Parrots are one of the most threatened bird species in the world, partly due to the illegal parrot trade. Previous research has attempted to explain why some parrot species are more likely to be poached for illicit markets, though these studies suffer from a small sample size or focus on a singular illicit market. Whether these past findings are generalizable to other markets in other countries remains unknown. Using two recent conservation studies that examine illicit pet markets in seven cities within Peru and Bolivia (Gastanaga et al., Bird Conservational International, 1–10, 2010; Herrera and Hennessey, Tundra to Tropics, 232–234, 2008), this study applies the CRAVED model (Clarke, London: Home Office, 1999) to identify which factors are able to explain poaching variation of species. Findings show that the more concealable, available, abundant, and disposable species are poached more often. Enjoyable, removable, and valuable species were not found to be significantly related with poaching. Implications of these findings are discussed.

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  1. “Market” in this paper is used to describe open-air markets where parrots are generally sold in the neo-tropics.

  2. The 80-20 rule is a phenomenon in which a small proportion of something (i.e., number of species) represents a large proportion of an outcome (i.e., total parrots poached).

  3. Data for Peruvian markets and the Bolivian market could not be combined because of different data collection methods. Therefore, data from the Bolivian market was dropped from this analysis.

  4. Price data is missing for 21 out of 52 species located around Peruvian markets and ten out of 35 Bolivian species.

  5. Ranges of species do change over time, especially when threatened by the illegal trade and habitat loss. Other times, they get bigger because they quickly become over-populated.

  6. It has been made aware to the author that at least one parrot range shapefile is not completely accurate. The shapefile of the Blue-fronted Parrotlet (Touit dilectissimus) suggests its closest point to the city of Santa Cruz is 103 miles away, when in reality, it has a range over the city (Pires and Clarke 2011).

  7. In previous decades, crop pests were more likely to be shot by farmers. Without reducing the provocations that some species cause to farmers, eliminating mist nets might have the unintended consequences of bringing this tradition back. Thus, allowing a well-regulated capture quota system of crop pest species might be the best solution.


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I’d like to thank Dr. Ron Clarke for giving me invaluable advice on this research paper as well as mentoring me throughout my graduate career at Rutgers University. I would also like to thank Dr. Jackie Schneider and the reviewers for giving me helpful feedback on improving this paper.

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Correspondence to Stephen F. Pires.



Table 6 Locally found species around Peruvian city markets (n = 52)
Table 7 Locally found species around Santa Cruz, Bolivia market* (n = 35)

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Pires, S.F. A CRAVED Analysis of Multiple Illicit Parrot Markets in Peru and Bolivia. Eur J Crim Policy Res 21, 321–336 (2015).

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