Neotropical Parrots

Whilst studying for his doctorate at Imperial College Paul's attention turned to international conservation issues. Unsustainable development in the tropics was having a big impact on biodiversity, mainly due to logging and cattle ranching. Paul decided to investigate the status of rare parrots in Ecuador which were close to extinction due to the habitat destruction of forests in the High Andes and sub-tropical amazon basin. Over the course of seven years Paul directed Parrots in Peril, a series of scientific expeditions that collected vital data for the conservation of the areas visited.

The research broadened to look at illegal colonisation and mining developments that were poisoning local human populations, as well as destroying the natural ecosystem. During this period he joined forces with other campaigners and together they successfully removed a joint venture mining company that had illegally being working in Podocarpus National Park.

The expeditions also researched the use of mercury in the illegal artisanal gold mining and found local villages contaminated with mercury. This data was used by the Ecuadorian public health authorities to draw attention to the danger of mercury.

The expeditions also discovered new species of butterflies to science, one of which is called Splendeuptychia toynei  (see Butterflies). 

This section contains the expedition's published work on parrots . 

Paul inspecting the first-ever known nest of the endangered red-faced parrot.
Paul inspecting the first-ever known nest of the endangered red-faced parrot.
/

Status, distribution and ecology of the white-breasted parakeet in south Ecuador.

bird-conservation-int-1992-white-breasted-parakeet This paper contains vital information on the conservation of this little known parakeet. As soon as it was published it was cited and used in Red Data books that catalogue the world's endangered species ...
Read More
/

Status of parrots in southern Ecuador and recommendations for their conservation

psittascene-1994_plight-of-parrots-in-southern-ecuador_toyne A general article on the plight of parrots in Southern Ecuador. Published in Psittascene the magazine of the World Parrot Trust in 1994. This article made a number of recommendations for the conservation of the forests within he region, these were incorporated into a World Action Plan for Parrots. In addition, the research work informed the Ecuadorian ministries who stopped illegal mining within the Podocarpus National Park ...
Read More
/

First ornithological survey record and notes on the conservation status of Rio Nangaritza, Ecuador.

bird-conservation-international-1998-birds-of-rio-nangaritza-southern-ecuador The Ecuadorean Government granted us special permission to visit this unique part of Ecuador which is adjacent to the disputed Peruvian border. It was an amazing experience and we were able to document many species of birds that were not found in the adjacent Podocarpus National Park. Our paper made some recommendations to increase the size of the Park to incorporate this sub-to lower-tropical habitat and its wildlife. Several years later these recommendations were acted upon. If we had ...
Read More
/

World Action Plan for Parrots: press release and associated press coverage

world-action-plan-for-parrots-and-associated-press-coverage-1999 Press release of World Action Plan for Parrots with associated press coverage featuring Paul Toyne. Whilst at WWF Paul contributed to the action plan for parrots,based on his work in Ecuador, and led a press campaign to raise awareness of their plight ...
Read More
/

New nesting information on Pionus species of parrot

bull-boc-1994-nesting-records-of-pionus-species This paper describes the nest of two Pionus species of parrots that we found whilst conducting ornithological surveys ...
Read More
/

The biology of the endangered Red-faced parrot

bull-boc-1997_observations-of-the-red-faced-parrot Prior to the scientific expeditions, Parrots in Peril, very little was know about the critically endangered Red-faced Parrot, except that it was rare and only found in one area. The first expedition failed to find it at all. Thankfully on subsequent expeditions they were found and the expeditions were able to document what they ate, their flock size, and habitat requirements. this paper describes this information. In addition, its first-ever known nesting attempt was documented ...
Read More
/

First ever record of the nest and nesting chronology of the critically endangered red-faced parrot

cotinga-1996_-first-nest-record-of-red-parrot On our last Parrots in Peril expedition a nest of the critically endangered red-faced parrot was found. The first to be documented in science. It was 20 metres high, in a hollow in the tree trunk made when a large branch snapped off. Realising the significance of the find, Paul twice  climbed up to the nest, being careful to be quick and safe, so as not to jeopardise the nesting attempt. On the first occasion two eggs were found ...
Read More
/

New vocalisations of the critically endangered red-faced parrot

j-neotropical-ornithologia-1995-vocalisations-of-redfacedparrot On all our expeditions we took sound recording experiment. Jeremy Flanagan, who joined me for all the expeditions was the sound recording officer. He never returned to the UK, basing himself in north Peru where he continues ornithological research. Copies of our sound recordings were made available to all the major sound archives in UK, Europe and the USA, as well as copies with Ecuadorian Natural History Museum in Quito ...
Read More
/

London Evening Standard promoting our successful first expedition to Ecuador

watching-the-birdie-evening-standard-19-oct-1990 This news article was published after the first successful expedition and was used to help raise funds for the second expedition through the selling of Parrots in Peril t-shirts, which were designed by late father. My friends still have their t-shirts and I wear my regularly in the summer. Even in those days we made sure the t-shirts were ethical and the dyes and cotton used were environmentally friendly ...
Read More
/

Daily Express coverage of action plan for parrots

the-express-ex-parrot_august-1999 Paul supported the World Parrot Trust by helping to launch an action plan to conserve rare parrots. The action plan incorporated conservation status data collected by Paul's expeditions to Ecuador. WWF-UK got behind the initiative and some vital funds were raised, together with much required awareness about the plight of parrots. The pressures are still there, mainly deforestation and collection for the pet trade, that sadly make parrots one of the most threatened family of birds ...
Read More