The monk parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus) as a potential pest for agriculture in the mediterranean basin.
The monk parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus) has been introduced in the last decades to many cities in many parts of the world. For most of this time it has been restricted primarily to urban areas, but it is starting to spread to rural habitats. In its native range, the monk parakeet is considered a pest for agriculture, consuming a wide variety of crops such as grains, fruits, and vegetables. However, there is very little information about its potential role as a pest for agriculture in the areas where it is exotic. Here we conducted an experimental survey of the impact of the monk parakeet on corn in SE Spain using camera traps. The monk parakeet was the animal that produced the highest damage, being responsible for 98.6% of the time employed by all animals consuming corn. The percentage of cobs damaged ranged from 36.8 to 100% depending on the cultivar, whereas the crop loss (measured as the length of the cob consumed with respect to the total length of the cob) ranged from 17.7 to 71.1%. The results suggest that the monk parakeet may be a serious pest for agriculture in the Mediterranean basin if their populations continue growing.