Publisher: Princeton University Press, Princeton & Oxford
Publication Year: 2021
Page Count: 304
ISBN Number: 9780691204413
Price: £ 34.99
Naturalized Parrots of the World
Parrots are among the most endangered birds globally, their populations threatened by habitat loss, trapping for the pet trade (both legal and illegal), and shooting, the latter predominantly centred on real or perceived threats to agriculture. Trapping for the pet trade has, ironically, both contributed to population declines within native ranges and seen parrots introduced to other geographical regions and habitats. Of the roughly 300 parrot species known to have been transported beyond their native range, no fewer than 75 have established breeding populations in the countries to which they were introduced. Parrots have been remarkably successful at adapting to their new environments, and this success may pose challenges for conservation, agriculture, and other human activities.
Through a series of chapters, each authored by different researchers, this book explores the scale of these introductions, the factors behind their success, and the implications and ecological impacts associated with them. The first part of the book (chapters one to nine) covers background and ecology, while the second part (chapters 10 to 19) presents a series of case studies, one of which provides a useful overview of the status of naturalized parrots in the United Kingdom.
As you might expect from what is really a series of scientific papers, each with its own reference list, there is some degree of repetition, but this does not jar too strongly. The order of the chapters enables the reader to view the book as a whole, the editor presenting the scale and distribution of naturalized parrot populations, before turning to chapters covering the most important aspects of these introductions. While Sarah Crowley delivers on the human dimension to parrot introductions and subsequent responses, Emiliano Mori and Mattia Menchetti present the evidence for their ecological impacts. Through this we learn of the 19.6 million parrots traded legally between 1975 and 2015 (representing a quarter of the legal bird trade), and that Rose-ringed Parakeets introduced to Seville in Spain have triggered a population decline in Europe’s largest known colony of Great Noctule Bat. Importantly, the book also considers the question of whether naturalized parrots should be considered as priority invasive species; while there is relatively little evidence of ecological impacts so far, the precautionary principle might suggest that more should be done to control these introduced populations now.
Some BTO data and research outputs find their way into the book, although data from BirdTrack (www.birdtrack.net), BTO Garden BirdWatch (www.bto.org/gbw), and the Bird Atlases would have been useful additions to the UK case study. BTO’s weekly Garden BirdWatch provides the best national picture of Rose-ringed Parakeets for the UK, while the BirdTrack records for UK parakeets are more complete than those used, which are derived from e-bird. Overall, an excellent synthesis of the current status and issues relating to naturalized parrot populations across the globe.
Book reviewed by Mike Tomsbuy this book
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