Beautiful but invasive

EDITOR – I refer to the letter and photographs from Bruce Watts in the July 4 edition. The following extracts from the Invasive Species Website should be brought to the attention of those well-intentioned folk who feed and encourage the birds that Mr Watts has captured so well in his camera.

These exotic birds, the Indian Rose-ringed parakeets and blue parrots, are declared a National Environmental Management: Biodiversity (NEMBA) Act, 2004 (Act No 10 of 2004) Number 2 Category invasive alien.

This means that these are invasive species that can remain in your garden, but only with a permit, which is granted under very few circumstances.

Also read: Winged friends visit the community

Examples of Category 2 invaders include watercress (Nasturtium officinale), Burmese python (Python molurus), peacock (Pavo cristata), Nile tilapia(Oreochromis niloticus) and mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis).

So, these birds, beautiful as they may be, are undesirable aliens and it is technically an offence to encourage them or have them in your garden.

Globally, the Rose-ringed parakeet is the most invasive parrot species and became established in South Africa in the 1970s.

It’s mainly a green parrot with a red bill and a long, tapered tail.

The species is widely bred in captivity.

Why is it a problem?

They are very noisy, especially at communal roosts.

They cause considerable agricultural damage.

They can compete for nest sites with native cavity nesters, and may carry diseases that could be harmful to poultry, native fauna and humans.

Robbie Vermont

Modderfontein

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