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Title: Investigating ecological impacts of the non-native population of rose-ringed parakeets (Psittacula krameri) in the UK
Author: Peck, Hannah Louise
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2013
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The rose-ringed parakeet has been present in the South East of England since at least the 1970s. However, there is little understanding about the impact that this exotic, gregarious bird has on native wildlife and therefore whether anything should or can be done to restrict potential impacts. The aim of this thesis is to provide an updated census of South East England's parakeet population size and growth, and investigate any evidence of ecological impacts to help inform policy makers making decisions on mitigation strategies for the rose-ringed parakeet. This has been achieved through using roost counts to regularly survey the population over three years and by carrying out two garden feeding experiments to look at effects of parakeet presence on bird feeding behaviour and on competition for food. I show that the rose-ringed parakeet population is well established in the UK, with over 30,000 individuals, has undergone rapid growth since 1996 but that the core London population appears to have reached capacity. I also show evidence of competition for food between parakeets and native birds, causing negative impacts on native bird foraging behaviour and resulting in a reduction in garden bird species accessing food. The overall findings of this research are that parakeets have the potential to reach high numbers in urban areas and that they do compete for food with native birds, but as yet there is no evidence for population level effects on native species. This adds to the knowledge of ecological impacts of the rose-ringed parakeet and provides further insight into the behavioural impacts that non-native species can have on native wildlife. I discuss the implications of these findings for future management and policy.
Supervisor: Owens, Ian Sponsor: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council ; The Nuttery
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available