The Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri) is native to sub-Saharan Africa, but in SA they were introduced, where after they became naturalised as they spread to new areas. According to Wits researchers, Craig Symes and Elize Fourie (School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences), most of these populations are derived from escaped birds, and probably originate from aviculture.
This is an invasive parrot species, which inhabits urban areas of South Africa, and which is currently listed as a Category 2 invasive species in the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (NEMBA). The impact of the species on local biodiversity and the environment is, however, not known. The Wits researchers are launching the Rose-ringed Parakeet Project to firstly, locate parakeet roosting/breeding sites and secondly, investigate the size and distribution range of the parakeet population in Gauteng. This will be complemented by parallel studies (in association with European researchers and ParrotNet), focused on the behaviour of these birds in Gauteng. It will improve understanding of the ecology and behaviour of the species in South African urban environments and ensure that informed decisions are made by policy makers regarding the status and management of this parrot.
All birders, citizen scientists, outdoor enthusiasts, and members of the public are invited to assist with and collaborate on the project by submitting sightings of these parakeets to the project database. Particularly needed is information on the exact location of permanent roosting and breeding sites as well as the number of parakeets seen.
Data can be submitted to the project in the following ways:
1. Using Google Forms. Please follow this link to the data form, fill it in, and submit. You may submit more than one form for the project. Please fill in all required fields as completely as possible: http://goo.gl/forms/E9giDg3hZh OR
2. Via Birdlasser, the technological partner of this project. All data of Rose-ringed Parakeets logged on Birdlasser will be shared with the Wits researchers. This application is available for download on Apple and Android devices. More info at www.birdlasser.com.