Literature review of the use of birds as pets in Latin-America, with a detailed perspective on Mexico

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  • Blanca Roldán-Clarà Universidad Autónoma de Baja California
  • Xavier Lopez-Medellín
  • Ileana Espejel Universidad Autónoma de Baja California
  • Evarista Arellano Universidad Autónoma de Baja California



Bird Trade, Bird Use, Ethnoornithology, Parrots, Wildlife


A large amount of birds are harvested from the natural environment for the pet market. This trade is a conservation issue and an economic income for many people, two aspects not analyzed yet as a complex system of causes and effects. Though bird trade is common in Latin-America there are few published studies. Therefore, we reviewed available literature to understand the background of this topic and to identify future relevant research topics. We collected, summarized and discussed literature about bird use as pets in Latin-America, with a detailed approach in México. We searched by keywords in search engines. We got a database of 128 documents. Brazil was identified as one of the main countries of bird use research. Most of the papers focused on parrots (27%) and were conducted at a local geographical level (47%). Half of the papers are focused on the general use of birds, 44% on the use as pets and 5% on other uses. The most common techniques employed for gaining information belong to the social sciences. In Mexico, 82% of the information is “gray literature”, mainly congress abstracts. This literature review shows that wildlife use in general and wild birds use as pets in particular are common in Latin-America. We bring to light that most information is not found in peer review journals and contains only useful bird lists. Finally, we found that social organization and actor’s perception research is scarce so we suggest more research in this direction in order to implement better management policies


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Author Biography

Xavier Lopez-Medellín

Centro de Investigación en Biodiversidad y Conservación, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos.





How to Cite

Roldán-Clarà, B., Lopez-Medellín, X., Espejel, I., & Arellano, E. (2014). Literature review of the use of birds as pets in Latin-America, with a detailed perspective on Mexico. Ethnobiology and Conservation, 3.