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September 16, 2013

Non-Native Species Ready for Adoptive Homes

Range of birds and reptiles need permanent homes

  • Young Blue-crowned Conures receive safe care in the nursery. Jessica Sayre/SFWC

  • A Mitred Conure waits at South Florida Wildlife Center for a home. Jessica Sayre/SFWC

  • A pair of Nanday Conures await a forever home at South Florida Wildlife Center. Jessica Sayre/SFWC

  • Quaker Parrot infants receive round-the-clock feedings from staff and volunteers. Jessica Sayre/SFWC

  • Diamond Doves are also non-native to Florida and need adoptive homes. Jessica Sayre/SFWC

If you're in South Florida and spot a beautiful, colorful parrot, chances are the bird was either itself a house pet or is the descendent of a house pet that was released or escaped, perhaps even several generations ago.

Unfortunately, parrots, various species of ducks, swans, and other species are non-native to south Florida. When they are released into the wild for one reason or another, non-native species can wreak havoc on the native wildlife or be subject to predation and food scarcity themselves. Many die. For others, South Florida's tropical climate allows them to thrive, but they still compete with other flourishing populations of birds and animals for resources.

South Florida Wildlife Center offers refuge to such exotic species that most other centers will not accept. However, once a non-native species is successfully rehabilitated, he cannot be released back into the wild because of legal constraints. Thus, the Center seeks a permanent home with a trusted individual or family with whom he can live the remainder of his life in peace.

Find out how you can adopt one of our animals»

A wide range of species are rehabilitated at South Florida Wildlife Center, including parrots, macaws, parakeets, and geese (even lizards!), all of which are non-native species and will need adoptive homes. Many of them arrived as orphans, receiving round-the-clock care to encourage their growth and health. Jessica Sayre, nursery supervisor, oversees their care and ensures that they receive a lot of "close contact with staff and volunteers so that they are friendly and ready for adoption into good homes with members of the community." Others, like Les the goose who was shot with an arrow, are brought to the center with injuries that are the result of intentional acts of cruelty. Thanks to care at our Center and adoption into a permanent home, Les and others will never know cruelty again.

Meet Tony the African Gray Parrot


The parrots (including parakeets and conures) who are looking for homes are highly intelligent and curious animals and get bored very easily. They require life-long enrichment such as toys, social contact, and intellectual stimulation, and they also benefit from a specific, but varied, diet. Curious to learn more about what bird ownership entails? Visit The Humane Society of the United States' resource page about parrots

If you are interested in learning more about adoption and and how you can provide a home to one of our animals, please contact Michelle Frier, Adoptions Coordinator, by email: mfrier@southfloridawildlifecenter.org or by phone: 954-524-4302 ext. 15.

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