10 Feb 2023

Why escaped pet parrots are threatening native species

From Nine To Noon, 9:30 am on 10 February 2023
Australian king parrot

Australian king parrot Photo: 123RF

A Professor of Ecology says vulnerable native birds are threatened by a "staggering" number of escaped exotic parrots, and a ban on imports should be introduced.

Auckland University's Professor Margaret Stanley and colleagues have just published a study on how many pet birds, particularly parrot species, are reported as lost by their owners.

Listings from two popular websites were monitored daily for over three and a half years.

Professor Stanley says from the results they believe at any one time in Auckland, for example, there are at least 491 escaped birds, including 136 potential breeding pairs.

She says this is terrible news for native species.