Sequential foraging, itinerant fences and parrot poaching in Bolivia

Stephen F. Pires, Ronald V. Clarke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Despite legal prohibitions, poaching of wild parrots is widespread in the neo-tropics, with the result that many species are now endangered. Guided by optimal foraging theory, secondary data are used to investigate why some species of Bolivian parrots, but not others, are found in an illegal pet market in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Species commonly found in the market make more enjoyable pets, are more abundant in the wild and more accessible to humans. They are also mostly found within 50 miles of the city, but some found at greater distances are probably brought to the market by wildlife traders, 'itinerant fences' who travel around buying parrots poached by villagers. It is concluded that opportunistic villagers are responsible for most parrot poaching in Bolivia and that this should guide solutions to the problem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)314-335
Number of pages22
JournalBritish Journal of Criminology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Social Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Law


  • conservation criminology
  • geographic information systems (GIS)
  • itinerant fences
  • optimal foraging theory
  • parrots
  • situational prevention
  • wildlife poaching


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