Like pigeons, parrots flock to certain areas in vast numbers. Thousands of parrots land in known roosts in Gabon. Less is known about the interior forests of Congo, but the parrot swamps on the border of the Lomami are known to at least one parrot merchant.
The roost is in an area that will become buffer zone surrounding the future Lomami National Park, a zone where we hope the ICCN (Congolese Park Service) will soon have both wherewithal and authority to forbid all parrot capture.
Not yet though. The parrot merchant from Kindu with his four climbers from the forests of Equateur had no reservations about setting their “traps” on the banks of the Lomami this past March. With permission from one province, he jumped the border into another province, paid off a local chief and was at ease.
When one of our TL2 teams stumbled into their camp, they already had 105 birds. The capture method is to coat an arrow-like stick with the gluey sap of a local Sapotaceae tree, tether a decoy parrot next to the trap and wait for other social birds to settle onto the sham roost.
How long before Lomami’s parrot roosts and pigeon salt-licks are emptied? Whole forests in Uganda once rich in parrots, now have none. How much more time de we have to create this national park ?