Sequential Foraging, Itinerant Fences and Parrot Poaching in Bolivia

March 2011
British Journal of Criminology;Mar2011, Vol. 51 Issue 2, p314
Academic Journal
Despite legal prohibitions, poaching of wild parrots is widespread in the neo-tropics, with the result that many species are now endangered. Guided by optimal foraging theory, secondary data are used to investigate why some species of Bolivian parrots, but not others, are found in an illegal pet market in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Species commonly found in the market make more enjoyable pets, are more abundant in the wild and more accessible to humans. They are also mostly found within 50 miles of the city, but some found at greater distances are probably brought to the market by wildlife traders, ‘itinerant fences’ who travel around buying parrots poached by villagers. It is concluded that opportunistic villagers are responsible for most parrot poaching in Bolivia and that this should guide solutions to the problem.


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