Parakeet 'Bullies' Lose Their Protection
In bid to prevent health and safety problems, damage to crops and disruption to native wildlife
To most locals they are thing of exotic beauty however environment watchdog, Natural England, has announced that from 1st January 2010 parakeets will lose their protected status.
New rules governing ‘General Licences’ mean that the parakeets can be lawfully killed, have their nests disturbed and eggs destroyed provided it is done in a “quick and humane manner” in a bid to prevent public health and safety problems, serious damage to crops or disruption to native wildlife including other bird species such as the woodpecker.
Reviews of General Licences are carried out periodically to ensure that the licence framework remains up to date and is able to target the increasing impact of non-native species such as the parakeets.
Among the changes announced this week, Natural England confirmed that several non-native bird species that breed in the wild - including monk parakeets, ring-necked parakeets, Canada geese and Egyptian geese - will be added to licences so their numbers can be controlled.
There are thought to be around 40,000 parakeets in London making them the capital's 15th most common bird although quite how they got here in the first place remains a mystery.
According to one newspaper article on the subject, theories range from a pair escaping from a container at Heathrow, to the possibility that a number escaped from Shepperton studios during the making of the 1951 film The African Queen, which used a variety of exotic birds to recreate the jungle.
October 2, 2009