Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Loud callings limit human tolerance towards invasive parakeets in urban areas.

Abstract

Biological invasions represent today one of the main cause of the global biodiversity crisis, particularly in urban and suburban areas. Research on this topic have traditionally focused on ecological impacts, with poor regards to the social components. The ring-necked parakeet Psittacula krameri is one of the most successful invaders and it is widely appreciated by the general public, being introduced through the pet trade. In this work we assessed whether long-term introduction, total population size and number of loud flight-calls affected social perception of this species in three populations from Italian cities. We used a visual survey (N = 414 questionnaires), which has been proven to be successful for testing attitudes on ring-necked parakeets. Tolerance towards this invasive species declined sharply with increasing number of loud calls by this species, thus providing support to the hypothesis of involvement of the ring-necked parakeet in noise pollution. Conversely, total population size and years since the first local introduction were not found out to be important variable determining social attitudes. Awareness on invasive species impacts is mostly obtained only when invasive populations are already affecting native biodiversity and human wellness, thus when management becomes challenging. Thus, at early invasion stages, intervention towards invasive species, particularly if charismatic, are often hampered by social public and animal right movements, especially in urban ecosystems. Educational campaigns on ecological and social impact by invasive alien species in urban ecosystems are therefore strongly recommended to implement effective management actions.