The details of Denmark’s largest ever case of smuggling endangered birds have been revealed today by the tax agency SKAT and the nature agency Naturstyrelsen.
The authorities received an anonymous tip-off that resulted in the arrest of a Danish smuggler, who has been fined 650,000 kroner for the illegal trade of 43 endangered parrots and parrot eggs.
Species on the Red List
Some of his profits, amounting to 231,000 kroner, were also confiscated along with 30 parrots and 11 eggs.
The case included parrot species such as the Jamaican amazon, the red-capped parrot, the sun parakeet and the eclectus parrot – all of which are on the IUCN Red List of threatened species.
The smuggler was selling the birds on sites like fuglemarked.dk and parrot4sale.com. Their value was estimated as being five digit amounts.
Higher penalties needed
Following the case, the Danish chapter of the World Wide Fund (WWF) has called for increased penalties for the illegal trade in endangered animals and plants from the current one year to two years in prison.
Increasing the penalty would allow Danish police to gain access to suspects’ online correspondence and phone records, which is currently only possible in cases of serious crimes.
“Without access especially to email correspondence, the police have a very low chance at uncovering large cases of illegal trade in endangered animals and plants,” stated Gitte Seeberg, WWF’s secretary general.