15/02/2021
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Call for Irish Ring-necked Parakeet sightings

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BirdWatch Ireland is calling for members of the public to log any Irish sightings of the invasive Ring-necked Parakeet with the National Biodiversity Data Centre (NBDC).

The species is native to tropical Africa and the Indian Subcontinent and has a wide feral distribution across Europe, which are the result of local introductions and/or escapes. A large population has grown in southern Britain, having first established in the 1960s, and today large flocks are a familiar and abundant sight in London parks. The species is also becoming increasingly numerous in other English cities, with birds also noted in Scottish cities north to Aberdeen.

Ring-necked Parakeet is considered an invasive in most areas outside its native range, as well as an agricultural pest where populations are found in rural areas. Although they are mostly confined to suburban areas in Europe, conflict can arise with native species through competition for nest sites and other resources.

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Ring-necked Parakeet is an invasive, competing with native species for resources such as nest holes in mature trees (Clive Daelman).

It is unclear how many Ring-necked Parakeets exist in the wild in Ireland, but formal records go back as far as 1998 (Co Cork), with observations also recorded in Cos Wexford, Wicklow, Meath and Dublin. Until now, records of this species have been treated with casual interest, but with more people reporting sightings to the National Biodiversity Data Centre during lockdowns and via the Irish Garden Bird Survey, BirdWatch Ireland is keen to track numbers and any spread of the species across Ireland.

To submit records of the species to the NBDC, use the online record submission page. Observations can also be emailed to rwhelan@birdwatchireland.ie.

For more information on what's already known about the species in Ireland, see here.