A recent survey revealed the huge population of green monk parakeets in Madrid. The magnitude of the problem forced the administration to go in for drastic measures. These feathered friends are native to Argentina and many of them entered the country as Pets. However, eight years ago, it became illegal to own them and they are now enemies. On a rough estimate, their numbers are in thousands. In 2005, it was 1,700. That swelled to 9,000 three years back and is now in the region of 12,000. They became a common sight in the skies and a nuisance because of their nests which are large ones and heavy.

The Guardian points out that the city council wants to reduce the numbers because these birds compete with other species for food. Moreover, the parakeets destroy the Environment when they go in search of material to build their nests for which they use huge sticks. Some of the nests can weigh as much as 400 pounds (200kg), hence are dangerous to have around. The council says the nests are a “threat to the branches that support them and also to the people on whom they could fall.” In addition, the birds can pose health risks to humans.

Methods to check the menace

Authorities of Madrid are aware of the parakeet menace.

They are trying to evolve suitable strategies in consultation with agencies that are associated with birds. The intention is to resort to a time-bound exercise of “humane slaughter” and sterilization. A representative of the council has said, “We’re going to put into effect a plan to control and reduce the number of monk parakeets in the city of Madrid.”

The Guardian makes a mention of the bird effect on the residents.

People keep complaining and the number of complaints justifies taking immediate action. The whole of last year there were 218 of them while this year, between January and August, the figure is already approaching 200. Incidentally, the proposed culling action would be selective and could depend on the density of the population.

Monk parakeets are an exotic invasive species

According to Gulf News, the soaring population of monk parakeets is having an adverse effect on the environment. The city authorities in Madrid are considering steps to reduce the numbers. There are nearly 12,000 of them and they fight with other birds for food. They also rip branches from trees to build their nests, which are strong, sturdy and heavy weighing from 110 to 400 pounds. These can pose dangers to those on the ground in case they crash down.

One of the plans to check their growth is to sterilize their eggs in the nest to encourage females to incubate but not hatch them. Spanish law has classified them as an exotic invasive species. While birds are necessary to maintain the ecological balance, they become a menace when their numbers increase and go beyond control.