The rose-ringed parakeet is listed amongst the top 100 worst alien species in Europe, and since the 1970s has rapidly established itself in over 100 cities across the continent and beyond. They have begun to pose problems in urban and rural areas such as disturbance to humans (including potential to transmit diseases to livestock and humans), competition with native wildlife and, increasingly, as an agricultural pest, already prompting changes in national policies. Worryingly, farming practices that adapt to global climate change and a warmer Europe facilitate the continued expansion of parakeet populations, amplifying the problems parakeets pose for European agro-economy. More generally, a temporal, spatial and social perspective of biological invasion is crucial to address, understand and solve the ‘alien species problem’ but is lacking. This Action will help to (i) better understand why some species such as parakeets are highly successful invaders, (ii) harmonise methodologies to predict agricultural, economic, societal and ecological impacts across Europe, and the means to mitigate them, (iii) create a virtual European Monitoring Centre for all invasive parrot species, and (iv) transfer results to policy and society. The Action fulfils EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy, Convention on Biological Diversity and Syracuse Charter recommendations on invasive species.
A workshop on Systematic Reviews was recently hosted by the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) at the University of Kent. Dr Zoe Davies of DICE introduced the participants to the concept of systematic review and the group considered how this could be useful in determining the impacts of non-native parrot species in Europe. Minutes of the meeting can be found here.