Motive of organization now in possession of Dominican parrots questioned

The birds were kept at the Parrot Aviary in the Botanic Gardens

Questions are being raised about the organization the government of Dominica says has been given the task of helping ensure the survival of the island’s Sisserou and Jaco parrots.

The German-based ACTP – the Association for the Conservation of Threatened Parrots – is described as a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of endangered parrots world-wide.

Founded by German Martin Guth in 2006, the ACTP is being lauded by an Australian colleague of the founder as “the best breeding facility for parrots I have ever visited”.

If Simon Degenhard is correct with that assessment, then officials in Roseau can comfortably shrug off concerns being raised on the island about ten Jacos and two Sisserou parrots having been sacrificed by being put in the hands of people allegedly intent on exporting parrots for large sums of money.

However one Australian who follows the bird business very closely, argues that Dominica needs to take a second look at Guth and his organization.

Lloyd Marshall publishes the monthly Magazine “Talking Birds” in Australia, and tells DNO why he is not overly impressed with the ACTP and two of the key players involved in the organization:

“Martin Guth and his Australian associate Simon Degenhard exported 74 rare Australian birds to Germany in December 2017. It is illegal to export native birds from Australia, the only exception being if they are going to a recognised zoo, to be used for conservation, research or for display purposes. The Association for the Conservation of Threatened Species is registered in Germany as a zoo. Guth claims the 74 birds were exported for display purposes. The ACTP premises are not open to the public, so to claim that the birds were for display purposes is nonsense”.

Marshall also contends that “ACTP is a very secretive operation and refuses to answer basic questions”.

Days after news broke that rare birds endemic to Dominica were taken to Germany, the government sought to respond to public queries saying the matter was handled legally for captive breeding purposes.

Some of the allegations suggested that the birds were ‘smuggled’ from Dominica with little or no public knowledge of what was going on.

In an official response the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Reginald Thomas shot down claims that the birds were smuggled, saying everything was done above board and the birds were transferred from the island to facilitate the breeding of a critically endangered species.

He stated that the birds will be kept in Germany at the ACTP facilities “for research into the breeding, particularly of the Sisserou, as a backup population in the event that the local population was to go extinct.”

The ACTP insists that it is a bona fide organization and negative comments being made about it are way off the mark and unfair.

According to Lloyd Marshall, however, many of the people “who supplied birds to Degenhard/Guth (from Australia) for export to Germany were not made aware of the birds’ destination, and would not have supplied the birds if they had known they were to be exported”.

He concludes that “Guth is known throughout aviculture as being shifty and constantly floods aviculture with misleading information in order to make ACTP look good. If Guth does manage to breed the birds he stole from Dominica, he would be able to name his own price from wealthy European collectors, possibly up to millions of dollars for each bird”.

ACTP is emphasizing that it is a “non-profit” organization, one that is dedicated to the protection of endangered parrots.

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  1. so what
    March 28, 2018

    bring back our parrots

  2. Rick Stanford
    March 27, 2018

    You cannot possibly start a conservation breeding program for Sisserou with the two birds taken from Dominica. A successful scientifically managed breeding program generally requires a minimum of 20 unrelated individuals as a start. Where does ACTP intend to get other Sisserou? This situation in no way helps the conservation of Dominica’s unique wildlife.

  3. Respect our symbol
    March 27, 2018

    What is the deal for the parrot , what price it was sold for ? ..

  4. out of south city
    March 27, 2018

    As a people, we are very naive when comes to wolves in sheep’s clothing. Many of these people are not to be trusted. They present themselves as peaceful and caring but deep down they are liars, exploiters and thieves. The government is moved when people come waving money before their eyes. It seems they fall into a hypnotic state and are overcome by bribery. Would Skerrit give away something that is dear to him? It seems like we take for granted the appearance of some people while the people on island are suffering. We need to preserve our National pride. I wonder if our birds will make it back home. And if they do will they be the same or will they have been injected with poison!

  5. Martin
    March 27, 2018

    Just sell the island to the highest bidder because things will never change with the island selfish mentality. Unless a complete new government takes over the island the conditions will remain in a third world status. There is no unity dispute all the disasters and signs from the most high to bring them as one, the leader and those in power use their political power to enslave people who vice their opinion and everyone trying to rob each other. That is the number one reason why Dominica is lacking progress. The parrot is like a symbolic land mark but to those making the decision it’s a lottery ticket similar to the passport sale. The way I see it Dominica is 20 years behind now and it’s like we are in the Donald trump’s era and anything expected.

  6. Dominican Passports
    March 26, 2018

    Them parrots probably checking “Wdma, where I be there nuh” Skerrroooo :mrgreen:

  7. too late
    March 26, 2018

    so de next thing dem fellas will sell is the de rivers man? I mean even parrot dem fellas selling now?

  8. The one and only.
    March 26, 2018

    What if the parrots are happier

  9. Marve
    March 26, 2018

    That is very sad, do you think the USA would give away its national Bald Eagle, no way, that’s their symbol. The prime minister needs to ask for these birds back ASAP.
    Please bring back the parrots, they are probably lonely. Their environment is all changed,

  10. piece of peace
    March 26, 2018

    so who exactly is Lloyd Marshall? Can DNO be more investigative than this please? Why is his opinion so highly regarded? Surely not because he simply publishes a Monthly magazine…

    Also DNO, have you investigated whether what this man says hold any water other than his personal opinion?

    Inquiring minds want to know :)

    ADMIN: The information we received contains copyrighted articles and images which are not available online. You can contact the newspaper via this link should you wish to verify the source: The link has also been updated in the article.

  11. The one and only.
    March 26, 2018

    You people complain! Again and again!
    Hey! will you’re lives be different with the parrots gone?
    Will you cry? Will you not be able to cope with life? If you answered to all of these then 2 words: toughen up!
    PM has been working non stop to help this country and you people criticize almost his every move when you yourselves cannot do any better.
    Guy makes one bad move and forget about all the good he has done. Y’all sit there with phones or computers and just blast him when your lazy … ain’t doing anything…
    Hey in guess u didn’t know, he is a human!

    • indira Ghandi
      March 26, 2018

      You think is country he d are about?
      He has enriched himself while the country keeps getting poorer and poorer.

  12. john
    March 26, 2018

    Dominicans should start a petition and investigation to the German government and start protesting in front of the German embassy for all the parrots return, turn it into an international issue. Go to the UN too. Publish this so that it will be on CNN and Fox news, embarrass the culprits, shame them. Can you imagine how much the parrots are suffering being removed from their island habitat where they grew up?

  13. Lady
    March 26, 2018

    They could easily built a facility in Dominica for the purpose of captive breeding, they didn’t have to take d birds out of the island and give to pirates. Ridiculous.

  14. Daryl joseph
    March 26, 2018

    This is worse than flag burning. It’s a symbol of our history. For some reason I find it up setting.
    Why did they not sugget building a place in Dominica for the birds and charge visitors to tour the facility. The money from that venture would help in maintaining there integrity and prestige of being one of few places in the world with such a bird.
    Just imagine for a Dominican to see their national bird they have to fly to Germany
    What a shame

  15. Bird eye view
    March 26, 2018

    This is just another way of exploiting Dominica and its resources, these guys will stop at nothing while enriching themselves and those close to them even if it involves murder. Never before has there been so many controversies in this island. there will be more to come because GREED will lead to unimaginable things, (A question to labourites; all these things that we are hearing about this government and their involvement, are all of them lies or untrue?) wake up people, save your country it was there before Skerrit and it will be there after Skerrit.

  16. Shaka Zulu
    March 26, 2018

    DNO can you guys start a petition to have President order the birds be returned. Have the petition passed around and signed. When enough signatures are collected present to authorities. Our people are disrespted and paraded as helpless by our government. I say this because we cannot build stadium, roads, coffee plant, bridge, hotel, hospital etc. No engineers smart enough. We dont have money do anything unless it came from Venezuela, china, Russia or elsewhere. Our passports worth nothing to us but is a revenue source. If we elected a government only to sell passports generate growth in a country we have serios issues. Why not give everyone 10 passports to sell and they can keep the money do what they want with thier life. They woul have enough build thier homes buy vehicle and feed themselves. Now our national bird is sent away because Dominica cannot take care of it. The bjrds were there before us and will be long after we gone. Man has been the cause of extinction of species today.

    • Shaka Zulu
      March 26, 2018

      Furthermore, thier are laws governing our national flags and national emblems. Where is out state prosecutors and police to investigate if a crime was committed in the process. Their seems to be question and the state laws or international laws may have been broken. Our legal system should be investigating if any crimes were committed in the process and by whom and individuals arrested and charged. In 2018 our level of critical thinking and sophistication os a shame. Bala amd jaco would be dissapointed.

  17. anonymous2
    March 26, 2018

    Dominicans….duped again. I hope the parrots can be returned some way. The sooner someone tracks the parrots the better. Skerritt and his cabal are a disgrace and complete sell out of this country.

  18. True dominican
    March 26, 2018

    This is disrespect to Dominica.. Why should our parrots be sent to germany ??? Bring back our PARROTS and take skerrit .{ TOO MUCH BOWDELLE IN DOMINICA

  19. Enough is enough
    March 26, 2018

    Once again for a bird story that smell very fishy!! Well when you are able to sale Dominican passport I guess you can also sell the Dominican symbol!!

  20. NabesandI
    March 26, 2018

    IOh wow DNO motive questioned oh wow doom and gloom poor Dominica see that? Skerritt amd his government eh….. See the prestigious avian world international expert Lloyd Marshall has questioned it so you see eh Skerritt and them lying to Dominicans this proves it. All the proof we need. Thanks to Lloyd Marshall. Please now let us demand Skerrits resignation today followed by the immediate swearing in of Lennox as Prime Minister to right this wrong. Thanks Lloyd Marshall make way for the incoming leader.

    • Zor Sot
      March 26, 2018

      Sarcasm befalls thee

    • Annon
      March 26, 2018

      Ya of course, all the millions ‘pledged’ coming in let’s get the new guy in there to make his millions.

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