Ring-necked parakeets, geese, on British death list

This is a video about ring-necked parakeets near a balcony in the Netherlands.

From the Daily Telegraph in Britain:

Parakeets can be shot without a licence under new rules to control spread of exotic birds …

The ring-necked parakeet was first spotted in the UK 40 years ago and is now a common sight in London and the South East, as well as flying as far north as Scotland.

However the parrot has become a nuisance for fruit growers, raiding orchards in Surrey, and could even threaten native species such as woodpeckers and nuthatches.

On the contrary, in the Netherlands, ring-necked parakeets nested in the same tree as green woodpeckers without problems. In the same city, these parakeets nested in the same tree as great spotted woodpeckers without any trouble. There has been research in a forest whether the parakeets caused problems for bats living in trees. Result: no problem for the bats.

Apparently, arguments about native animals are abused for putting money above parakeets’ lives and to prop up shooters’ interests.

Now Natural England has officially designated the bird as a pest under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, meaning it is legal to shoot the bird without a licence. From 01 January 2010 it will also be possible to destroy nests and take eggs as long as there is proof the animal is causing a nuisance.

Other birds added to the list include the monk parakeet from South America and the Canada goose and Egyptian goose that can destroy gardens. …

This video is footage of the wild Monk Parakeet colony in Houston, Texas, USA.

Egyptian goose with goslings

Bedecked with emerald green feathers and a rose-red beak, the ring-necked parakeet was brought to the UK from India and was first reported in the wild in 1969.

It is unclear how the bird escaped into the wild, with theories ranging from a pair escaping from a container at Heathrow airport to the possibility that a number escaped during the making of the 1951 film the African Queen at Shepperton Studios.

The latest estimate puts numbers at above 20,000, more than native species like kingfishers and lesser-spotted woodpeckers, with the majority around London and the South East.

From the Times of India:

But the move to designate parakeets pests has been attacked by some experts, with the London Wildlife Trust saying there is “little evidence” the birds cause a problem.

The League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) have warned Tory party leader David Cameron that he is “completely out of touch with public opinion” after he reiterated his determination to hold a Commons vote on overturning the hunting ban: here.

New ‘biodiversity scheme’ in Scotland involves persecution of crows, foxes, stoats and weasels: here.

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