The Seychelles Parrot is threatened by the invasive Indian Ringnecked Parrot. Local authorities want to shoot them.

February 27th, 2015 | by LubosTomiska
The Seychelles Parrot is threatened by the invasive Indian Ringnecked Parrot. Local authorities want to shoot them.
Invasive species
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Shooting of the invasive Indian Ringneck Parrot (Psittacula krameri) is planned on more localities on Seychelles by local authorities. These birds used to occupy the biggest island Mahé. However, they have colonized nature reserve Vallée de Mai on the Praslin Ssland recently which is the only place where the native Seychelles Parrot (Coracopsis barklyi) occurs. Its population counts 520-900 individuals. It’s not the first time when shooting of Indian Ringneck Parrots was ordered. Numbers of this species has been similarly reduced since 2003. However, in the past these actions took part only on Mahé island.

Indian Ringnecks threaten native parrots by several factors. Firstly, they compete with them for food and natural cavities. Secondly, there is serious danger of PBFD circovirus transmission which is mostly incurable. Outbreak of such kind could devastate the native population of the Seychelles Parrot easily. This species was classified as separate recently. Now there is about 150 Indian Ringneck Parrots living across all Seychelles Islands according to Seychelles Islands Foundation (SIF). These birds have been living there since 1996 when some of private breeders released them into the wild.

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Greater_Vasa_Parrot

The closely related Greater Vasa Parrot. Photo: (c) Jerry Oldenettel. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license.

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Seychelles Parrot youngers die of hunger

Before arrangements for reducing of invasive parrots took an action there were about 400 individuals on the islands. This species comming from southeastern Asia is considered together with the Quaker Parrot (Myiopsitta monachus) as the most invasive parrot. They inhabit metropolis like London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Madrid or Barcelona. They were firstly observed on the Seychelles island Praslin the last month. „We found a green feather on one of the trails of Vallée de Mai and it fits the description of the green bird,“ explains a press agent of the nature reserve to Seychelles News Agency.

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After deeper research a director of the research team Wilna Accouche confirmed the information that Indian Ringnecks have colonized Praslin Island as well. „The ring-necked parakeet will be in direct competition with the local population of the black parrot, as they have similar foliage environment, nesting habits and feeds on the same type of food,“ explained the ranger of SIF Terrence Payet and says: „Breeding of the species is difficult and we have observed quite a lot of chicks starve to death as there is not enough food fot them and they are also threatened by predators such as rats and Mynah birds.“
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Authorities ask local people for their help

Wilna Accouche says that Indian Ringnecks are much better fliers than Seychelles Parrots and compared to them can handle longer distances easily. That’s why it was observed apart from Mahé and Praslin even on Silhouette Island. „Indian Ringnecks will not definitely stay on Mahé,“ says Accouche. Up to now 324 invasive parrots were shot and it will take at least one more year to be sure that no one left there.

SIF wants to shoot Indian Ringnecks on Praslin as well but they actually don‘t have much information about their distribution. That’s why they need help of locals who could report observing of birds.

 

Title photo: Indian Ringnecked Parrot (Wiki Commons, © J.M.Garg)

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