Invasive Bird Poll - and real threats

Subject: Invasive Bird Poll - and real threats
From: Mike Owen <>
Date: Wed, 04 May 2005 22:57:14 +1000
michael norris wrote:

But unfortunately there is a current (if not yet fully processed) proposal to import the Eurasian Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto as a cage bird!

That is a fascinating request from a person unknown. It is a species that appears never to have been present in Australia, and there are very few aviculturalists in Australia who have any real interest in Doves. Given it's known ability to become feral I would say that it's chances of being approved are zero.

There you can see there is a current touching application to import a single pet African Grey Parrot with a statement that the African Grey "has never successfully established a feral population outside of its native range". Comments required by 29 June.

But if you search the Internet (that great source of truth and nonsense) 3,000 have been caught in the wild in the USA and there is an quoted report from the Sunshine State Cage Bird Society's News Letter reporting 55 "Quakers" in the wild.

The African Grey application is very thorough, but is not entirely accurate in places. However there are probably well in excess of 1000 Greys in Australia already, they are being bred in aviculture in reasonable numbers, and the application is true in it's statement that they have never been reported as forming a breeding feral population anywhere in the world. The reference to 3000 having been caught in the USA will refer to escaped birds that have been recaptured. There are probably in excess of 500,000 kept as pets in the USA and some do escape each year.

The Quaker or Monk Parrot, Myiopsitta monachus, has become very successfully feral in many placs in the world, especially Spain and the USA, and it is banned in several USA States. Most of these feral populations appear to have originated from the release of adult wild caught birds rather than from aviary raised birds. Currently they are legal in all states of Australia except for WA. They are a popular aviary and pet bird in Australia and their estimated Queensland numbers in captivity is in excess of 5,000 birds, with an Australia-wide captive population of maybe approaching 20,000. Quakers have been in Australia since at least the 1930's and quite possible since the start of the 20th Century. In all that time they have never formed a feral population, so with current numbers being exclusively captive raised and not wild caught as they would have been before the 1950's, it seems that they lack the ability to become feral in Australia.


Mike Owen
World Parrot Trust (Australia)

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