The monk parakeet: A potential threat to agriculture
Small flocks of monk parakeets, Myiopsitta monachus, were recently sighted and reported In Southern California. This avian species, native to Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Bolivia, substantially damages grain, fruit, and vegetable crops grown within its native habitat. Overall crop losses in those areas range from two percent to 15 percent, with some as high as 45 percent annually. Because of its known ability to breed successfully in California and other states and to survive adverse climatic conditions, the possible effects of M. monachus on California's agricultural industry must be examined. This study evaluates the pest potential of this exotic avian species.