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Carolina Parakeet... (1 Viewer)

Patudo

Well-known member
Apologies for the somewhat mischievous post title. 😸

I was wondering whether any of the parakeet species currently living in a feral state in the former range of the Carolina parakeet will eventually fill (or partially fill) its ecological niche? Here in the south-east UK the rose-ringed parakeet has been highly successful in establishing itself - there were thought to be 32,000 birds in the London area alone. What's the current situation with this species (and indeed others) in the U.S., and what might the future hold for them?
 

raymie

Well-known member
United States
We don't quite what the Carolina Parakeets niche was, so it would be hard to know for sure. But I doubt it. All of the parrot species in the eastern US are restricted to urban areas and show no signs of spreading outwards.
 

lgonz1008

Well-known member
United States
The Carolina Parakeet was a forest and wooded wetland inhabitant that lived in large flocks and was a seed disperser alongside having a preference for a toxic plant that no other species of animal went after.

While the US currently has multiple populations of parrots, parakeets and even macaws if you're in the Miami region, none of these birds have the potential of filling in the niche of the Carolina Parakeet for the following reasons:
  • Urban habitat dependent
  • Most species are dependent on non-native fruiting plants to feed them
  • Nesting habitat is for the most part in non-native trees as they are closer to what the birds used in the wild
  • Bird trade stops the species from having a chance of being more widespread since they are not protected due to not being native
You could argue the Monk Parakeet is the exception due to their ability to build their own nests and not being fruit dependent. But this instead means that they are open habitat species, I've seen this bird around most of urban Florida but not once have I seen it anywhere within a 20 minutes drive from the Everglades or any other true wild habitat that lacks almost any human impact. But I have seen the common exotics like House Sparrow, European Starling and Eurasian Collared-Dove in around the man-made structures in the middle of these parks, so it seems the limitation of spreading to wild areas is mostly to the truly tropical species like the parrots.
 

Mysticete

Well-known member
United States
As others have stated, we have lots of parrot populations, but at least in the lower 48 almost all tend to established in suburbs and urban areas. The only potential exception might be Hawaii, where I have heard of Rose-ringed Parakeets being present in more rural areas. Of course, Hawaii never had any native parrots, so not exactly a comparable situation.
 

raymie

Well-known member
United States
I know a few of the parrot species in south Texas are occasionally present in rural areas, as are the California population of Lilac-crowned Parrot.
 

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