Parakeets in the firing line
Ring necked parakeets are still a surprising sight in the Midlands. But they are out there and we featured them earlier in the year on Springwatch on Midlands Today. You can read about them and watch our report here.
As we said at the time the question of exactly when an alien species moves from pleasant surprise to pest is a complex one. And not all species from overseas become a problem. We said the jury was out on the ring necked parakeet. Well now it looks like the foreman is standing to give his verdict, at least in the south of the country.
And it's bad news for parakeets. If you have good reason to think they are causing a problem and you are an authorised person or the landowner then you can use this licence [198KB PDF] to take action and shoot or trap them.
I checked this morning but so far in Birmingham and the Black Country where our largest parakeet population is concentrated they don't seem to be as much of a concern as in the south. In the future though they could damage fruit crops and because they nest in holes in trees they could cause problems for woodpeckers. Driving them out of their existing homes.
So how many parakeets are out there turning the Black Country green and pink? See sightings to date and contribute your own via our interactive map.