Feral Rose-ringed Parakeets in Britain

Published on 01 November 1993 in Main articles

he Rose-ringed Parakeet Psittacula krameri is found naturally in Central and West Africa and the Indian subcontinent, but has escaped or been introduced in numerous other parts of the world, in many of which it has become successfully established (Lever 1987). Feral Rose-ringed Parakeets were reported breeding in Northrepps, Norfolk, as long ago as 1855 (quoted in Lever 1977), and the species was also reported breeding in Epping Forest, Essex, in 1930 and at Lilford, Northamptonshire, in 1931 (quoted in Low 1992). For most of the period 1930-66, the importation of parrots such as the Rose-ringed Parakeet was prohibited, but thereafter feral records began to increase. Breeding was suspected in Southfleet, Kent, in 1969, and was confirmed at two sites on the outskirts of South London in 1971 (Lever 1987). By 1979, there were records from 32 counties, with breeding proved in seven and suspected in many ofhers (Hawkes 1979), and, in 1983, observations in 50 counties with breeding recorded in ten (Lever 1987). In 1986, the British population was estimated at around 1,000, mostly in the southeast of England (Lack 1986), although this figure may be an exaggeration. The species was added to ‘Category C of the British List in 1984 (BOU 1984), with the subsequent decision to treat the race occurring in Britain as ‘undetermined’ (BOU 1991). Rose-ringed Parakeets are extremely popular with aviculturists, particularly on account of the lattcr’s penchant for producing colour mutations, more of which have been created with this species than with almost any

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