ROSE-RINGED PARAKEETS (Psittacula krameri) in London? ©David Merrigan/Flickr
Thousands upon thousands of rose-ringed parakeets have made homes in London and the surrounding suburbs. The New York Times reports that the colorful flocks are making a mess of British gardens and might be interfering with species, native and otherwise, that have long called England home.
The parakeet population has exploded in recent years. In 1995, about 1,500 parakeets were estimated to live in London. A few years ago, that number was closer to 30,000. Today it is estimated at 32,000, according to Project Parakeet, a research project that documents the ecological impact of the birds on the U.K.’s biodiversity and agriculture.
Back in 2007, the BBC looked at why the birds thrived in London and found that the city provided more than adequate food supplies. Though they hail from India and sub-Saharan Africa, the parakeets don’t need warm weather to survive. “They actually originate from the foothills of the Himalayas, so they don’t need it to be that warm to live comfortably,” Andre Farrar of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds told BBC Magazine. Meanwhile, they have no natural predators that have kept populations down.
Fact Source: http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/stories/swarms-of-parakeets-invade-london
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