UK wild parakeet species faces cull over ‘threat to fauna’

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Wild parakeets living in the UK are being culled because they have been deemed a threat to native British wildlife.

The green, yellow and grey monk parakeet, which is native to South America, is also causing damage to crops, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Only 100 to 150 of the 30cm tall birds live in the UK, mainly in the Home Counties, but the decision has been taken to exterminate them.

A spokesman for Defra said: “Control work is being carried out as part of a Defra initiative to counter the potential threat monk parakeets pose to critical national infrastructure, crops and native British wildlife.

“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.”

Unlike its relative the ring-necked parakeet, which is the UK’s only naturalised parrot, the doomed species builds huge communal nests.

Identified by its green upper parts, yellowish belly, pale grey face and breast and pale bill, the monk parakeets also make raucous calls.

In America, nests built on electricity utility structures have been known to cause power cuts, particularly when they become wet from rain.

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