Tuesday, 26 April 2011

I Guess Diversity Is Only To Be Welcomed In The Human Species?

News reaches me that the government has finally had enough of an invasive population of foreign invaders, who while they may brighten the UK's streets with their foreign ways and looks and charming habits, could become a destructive force in the future. Steps need to be taken now, before they become a problem.

And you can forget namby-pamby stuff like the BNP's 'Give them money to leave' policy - this government is planning nothing less than extermination, for the adults and their unborn children...

Woah, put down those banners! Stop those frantic phone calls to the UN!

It's OK, we aren't talking about Romany gypsies, Yardies or Muslim hate preachers. They are all fine, and welcome in the UK to enrich our culture with their vibrant diversity.

It's parakeets:
No serious damage has so far been reported in the UK, but the birds' numbers – currently estimated to be about 100-150 – are expected to rise dramatically, given the ease with which they can survive in cities and a range of climates. So no sooner do bird lovers hear of the new addition to the country's fauna than they will be learning of its looming demise. Inquiries by The Independent on Sunday have revealed secret plans by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to exterminate the bird, bringing to an end its short-lived residence in Britain.
And they are fully aware how this is going to be received by the public:
Defra's culling policy was decided in December 2010, but Defra has yet to make it known to the public. A spokesperson said: "This invasive species has caused significant damage in other countries through nesting and feeding activity, and we are taking action now to prevent this happening in the UK."
Still, there's a large charity that looks out for the welfare of birds, isn't there? Surely they won't stand by and...

Oh:
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) supports Defra's move. A spokesperson said: "These species aren't causing any major conservation problems in the UK at the moment, but they might in future."
What a shame no-one is looking at other invasive types with the same clinical eye, eh?

And why are we expected to be prepared to tolerate human diversity under pain of government sanction, but not the avian kind?

11 comments:

parkylondon said...

I would suggest that the number of parakeets quoted *substantially* under estimates the number of these birds. Probably by an order of magnitude or two...

banned said...

I'd leave them to the invasion of urban foxes of which I saw three during two hours of darkness over the bank holiday.

lovegoats said...

Repeat of American Ruddy Duck fiasco. Cost per dead bird £740. Cheaper to catch them and fly them back to US.

Surreptitious Evil said...

"And why are we expected to be prepared to tolerate human diversity under pain of government sanction, but not the avian kind?"

Parakeets don't vote Labour?

Rob said...

British nests for British birds!

Is a bird which spends half of the year in Africa still a British bird?

Greencoat said...

'Parakeets don't vote Labour?'

No - and they don't claim benefits either.

Doubleplusgood.

Captain Haddock said...

Someone needs to get their facts right ..

Firstly, Ring-necked Parakeets are from India, not South America ..

They do cause damage, particularly to the crops of commercial soft-fruit growers ..

They drive native birds (especially Woodpeckers) out of their nest holes, which they then take over ..

I know for a fact that 3,000 + regularly roost every night in the trees surrounding Esher Rugby Club, Surrey ..

I've seen them as far North as Blackpool & Lincolnshire ..

Its believed that they were either deliberately released after the re-make of the film "The African Queen" at Bray Studios, nr Windsor .. or are escaped cage birds ..

They can survive British winters, as climatic conditions are similar to the parts of Northern India, from which they originate ..

I don't particularly like them .. but, I don't support culling them either .. and have fallen out with the RSPB before, regarding their attitude towards Ruddy Ducks .. so expect to fall out again about this latest policy ..

Captain Haddock said...

"Is a bird which spends half of the year in Africa still a British bird" ?

Rob .. Ring-necked Parakeets do not migrate, they live here all year round ..

They have been admitted to the British "List" by the BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) .. the authority responsible for deciding what is & what isn't a "British" bird ..

Birds on the British "List" which do migrate for half the year include Swallows, Swifts, House Martins, Sand Martins etc .. They are classed as being "British" by virtue of the fact that they actually breed whilst they're here ..

Also on the British "List", though as "introduced" species are Canada Goose, Little Owl, Collared Dove, Red-legged Partridge, Ring-necked Pheasant etc ..

Zaphod said...

It was me! I had a pair of ringnecks escape when I lived in Brixton, in the seventies. I've been hearing about them getting established, ever since.

They're kinda cute.

JuliaM said...

"Someone needs to get their facts right ..

Firstly, Ring-necked Parakeets are from India, not South America .."


Oh, the article (and proposed policy) is about the monk parakeet, not the ring-necked; it does draw a distinction between the two:

"Despite being similar in appearance and behaviour to the UK's 4,300 ring-necked parakeets – both species are often spotted in parks and gardens eating out of bird feeders – it is monk parakeets' unusual nesting habits that make them the bigger threat. "

"Also on the British "List", though as "introduced" species are Canada Goose, Little Owl, Collared Dove, Red-legged Partridge, Ring-necked Pheasant etc .."

Very, very few people know that pheasant aren't native.

Captain Haddock said...

"Oh, the article (and proposed policy) is about the monk parakeet, not the ring-necked; it does draw a distinction between the two" ..

Fair enough Julia .. but they still need to sort their facts out, as the article is accompanied by a photo of a Ring-necked Parakeet ..

Here's a photo of a Monk Parakeet, by way of comparison ..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cliff_Parakeet

Interesting that the article should also mention the European Eagle Owl, as there's a rather heated, scientific debate going on about fossilised remains found in UK, which if proven, will show that the Eagle Owl was once a native British species ..

These magnificent birds have successfully bred in the Vale of Bowland, Lancashire & on MoD land in North Yorkshire (I've been privileged to be able to visit both sites) ..

These Owls are more likely to predate Game-Bird species (Pheasant, Grouse etc) & Rabbits or Hares, rather than livestock (though they are big enough to take a lamb) .. And I suspect its the vested, financial interests of the commercial "Shoots" which are fighting their continued presence in this country ..