Determination of the origin of British feral Rose-ringed Parakeets

Published on 01 February 2001 in Main articles

ABSTRACT Four subspecies of Rose-ringed Parakeet Psittacula krameri are recognised, two African and two Indian.The likely origin of those individuals living in the wild in Britain was investigated by comparing body measurements and colour characters of 180 museum specimens from throughout the species’ natural range with those of British feral specimens and captive individuals. Body length and bill length proved to be the parameters most likely to differ among all four subspecies, while toe and wing measurements also differed between some subspecies. Colour characters were of limited use, with the exception of bill colour, which could be used as a secondary criterion for classifying certain individuals.The British parakeets appear to be of Indian type; their wing and toe lengths are similar to those of the northern subspecies borealis, while their bill lengths correspond to those of southern manillensis. Since bill colour is highly variable, it is possible that the birds derive from a mixture of the two Indian subspecies.ported by obser vations of bill colour, ose-ringed Parakeets Psittacula although the difficulty of obtaining clear krameri established feral colonies in views of the lower-mandible colour in the southeast England in the 1970s field was stressed. Morgan’s (1993) conclu(Morgan 1993). Since then, a large subpopusions were tentative, and he highlighted the lation, numbering over 1,000 individuals, has need for further study of feral parakeets in become well established to the west of the hand. London, along with two smaller ones, one in southeast London and the other on the Isle of Thanet,

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