Parakeets face a massive cull as Government officials consider shooting the so-called ‘grey squirrels of the sky,’ that are Britain’s fasted-spreading species of bird.
Sources at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) are discussing plans to shoot populations of ring-necked parakeets for the first-time ever.
Between 1995 and 2015, parakeet numbers exploded by 1,455 per cent, with around 170,000 of the bright birds currently thought to be in the UK.
Despite legends that the birds, which were originally native to Africa and India, were brought to Britain by 1960s icon Jimi Hendrix, their origins in the UK actually date back to the 19th century, as early as 1855.
Discussions are underway to cull the birds, which pose a threat to native wildlife, but there are no ‘concrete plans,’ according to The Telegraph.
While most parakeet populations are concentrated in London, there are also large flocks in the Home Counties, as well as Birmingham, Manchester and even as far as Glasgow.
In 2014, experts from the University of Kent warned parakeets pose ‘an urgent economic, societal and environmental problem, as they are a main cause of global biodiversity loss’.
They compete against native birds – including blue tits and great tits – at garden bird feeders and can cause damage to orchards if their numbers increase further. Read from source….