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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Population trends and ecological attributes of introduced parrots, doves and finches in California


At least 10 species of parrots (Family Psittacidae). along with the Eurasian collared-dove (Columbidae: Streptopelia decaocto), orange [northern red] bishop (Ploceidae: Euplectes frandscanus), and nutmeg mannikin ["spice finch" or "spotted munia"] (Estrildidae: Lonchura punctulata). have recently established significant viable and generally increasing populations in California. Populations of all of these taxa are concentrated in highly modified urban and suburban habitats (parrots, doves) or in flood control basins and river channels with abundant rank annual growth (bishop, mannikin). With various collaborators, the author has monitored these taxa in southern California through the 1990s. Because of the potential for deleterious ecological interactions with native bird species and for damage to certain commercial crops, monitoring of these species and other potentially established exotic bird species must be ongoing. Here the author reports his present knowledge of population sizes and trends, geographical distribution, habitat relationships, and foraging and breeding ecology of these introduced species and suggest schemes for continued monitoring.

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