Endangered Red Siskins are still trafficked in their native Venezuela and here in the United States. They are kept as pets and cross-bred to make red canaries. Dr. Braun and colleagues in the Red Siskin Initiative are working to understand how trading in Red Siskins works, how to raise the birds in captivity, and ultimately how to reintroduce and protect the birds in the wild.
Yesterday, Smithsonian Magazine published a story that describes some recent work by Dr. Braun, lab alumnus Dr. Brian Coyle, and colleagues in the RSI who analyzed social networks in the Venezuelan pet trade to better understand challenges facing Red Siskin conservation. It also expands on the current state of the RSI.
Read the article here.
Read the social network study, which was published in Animal Conservation, here.