Pet parrots declared a threat to endemic birds — Analysis
A biologist has called for a nationwide ban on breeding and selling man’s favorite talking birds in New Zealand
Hundreds of pet parrots flee from their owners in New Zealand every year, putting the island nation’s endemic birds, many of which are already endangered species, under a serious threat, a biologist has warned.
Dr. Margaret Stanley is an associate professor of biological sciences at the University of Auckland. She says that each year, 331 parrots either escape from captivity or are intentionally released to the wild in New Zealand.
She added that the actual number should be higher as she used statistics that only included lost birds reported by owners.
Stanley has run simulations that show there is a good chance for parrots of the exact same species to escape into the wild, and start reproducing.
“We looked at all the details on survivorship and lifespan for these species, and what we found was that for the seven species that we modeled, it was more than an 80% chance that a male-female pair were at large in the same local board area, at any given time,”According to the Guardian, the biologist.
This was the number “even worse”Stanley said that the percentage was 100% for species such as the Indian ringnecked parakeet or the Alexandrine parakeet, because they can hybridize.
Parrots might be cute and colorful creatures, but they could become a real menace for New Zealand’s unique birds, 40% of which are already considered endangered.
She explained that the uncontrolled breeding of the invasive species could lead to them competing for nesting and food space with native birds. Parrots can also be infected with diseases.
New Zealand’s fauna has already suffered immensely over time, thanks to the rabbits, rats, and possums brought into the country in the 19th century. Stanley and her associates are determined to stop the parrots causing more destruction.
Starting in September, Auckland bans the sale and breeding of several exotic bird species, such as monk parakeets and ringneck parakeets as well as rainbow and rainbow lorikeets. It’s being done as part of the city’s pest management plan.
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But Stanley insisted that it’s not enough: Breeders are already considering moving out of Auckland to go on with their business. It was a measure “is a little bit toothless if it’s not nationwide,”According to her, parrots must be illegalized in all areas of the country.
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