Parrots have entered Greece in a big way, and the Hellenic Ornithological Society will survey to assess the extent of this invasion. The birds are visible wherever greenery is abundant. The census will reveal a true picture and help to draw up a suitable action plan. Panagiotis Latsoudis is the head of the society, and he confirms that in the island of Crete “the parrot populations have increased in practically all major cities.” Incidentally, the island of Crete is a great holiday destination.

The Guardian reports that a teacher took the initiative to keep track of the problem in his own way.

He would visit the parks at sunset to get the feel of things. In his opinion, Greece is becoming a habitat of wild parakeets from other countries, and they compete with other birds for nesting holes.

Ecosystem under threat from parrots

The birds are a menace in Brussels where the parks are teeming with the birds. They appear to have become an invasive species as their population keeps multiplying at alarming rates and a time might come when their population overtakes that of local pigeons and sparrows. One reason for parrots to make Greece their home could be the climatic conditions. The parks here have an attractive green cover that is what the birds look for. Parrots are native to far off places, and it is not clear how they arrived in Greece.

They do not fall in the category of migrant birds and cannot fly long distances. Experts believe they are escapees. That is how they had entered Britain many years back. It is possible that, in this case, they were caged birds when they first arrived in Greece, probably in Athens, and then escaped into freedom.

There are fears that they will ease out many other species of birds. The European Commission is also worried and considers them a threat to native biodiversity. They could add parakeets to the list of invasive alien species. In Israel, the birds have damaged sunflower crops while they belong to the category of endangered species in Puerto Rico.

The parrot count is important for Greece

According to the Ekathimerini, an ornithological Society has begun the process of taking stock of ring-necked parakeets in different city parks of Greece. That will form the basis for the authorities to take necessary action in order to counter the menace of the birds. Other places in Europe also face similar problems and there are fears that these non-native birds could, in due course of time, turn out to be a threat to local biodiversity.