Birding Aus <>
Mike Owen <>
Tue, 30 Nov 2010 08:36:14 +1000
On 29/11/2010 10:01 PM, michael norris wrote:
One is OK - but that is potential half of a breeding pair. They have
not really got away in Australia yet - but we have to return them to
sympathetic vets etc. as soon as possibe. If they get away it could
be devastating to hole-nesting birds.
Ringnecks are believed to have been kept in Australia since the late
19th Century. The first ones were undoubtedly wild caught and probably
wild caught imports continued to arrive until importation of exotic
birds was stopped in the 1950's. From that time the birds available
have been aviary bred.
Ringnecks are the most commonly kept exotic parrot, with current captive
population thought to be well over 500,000 throughout Australia. The
majority bred these days are colour mutations rather than the wild green
colour. They can be a long lived bird - the oldest authenticated I have
heard about died at 68 years, and he was still breeding at 67.
It is reassuring that in spite of these very large numbers, and the
regular escape of birds over many decades, they have never established a
viable breeding population as they have in Europe. The reasons are
probably firstly that Europe continued to allow wild caught imports well
into the 1990's, and that the wild populations were derived from escaped
wild caught birds - domesticated birds have very poor survival skills in
the wild. And secondly in Europe there are no real competitors for nest
hollows, in Australia there are plenty of parrots that will out compete
a Ringneck for a nest site - A Rainbow Lorikeet will always win in an
argument with a Ringneck.
So, while any escaped ones should be removed form the wild, the chances
of them becoming a pest as in Europe is negligible
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