Annual censuses and citizen science data show rapid population increases and range expansion of invasive rose-ringed and monk parakeets in Seville, Spain.
Population changes of invasive species can go unnoticed long before population explosions, so long-term monitoring programs are needed to assess changes in population size. Although invasive populations of rose-ringed (Psittacula krameri) and monk parakeets (Myiopsitta monachus) are present worldwide, their current status and dynamics are mostly poorly known. Here, we provide a long-term population monitoring of both parakeet species established in a Mediterranean urban area. Between 2013 and 2021, we conducted systematic population censuses in the city of Seville and collected their occurrence and spatial distribution data from citizen science platforms. Our censuses showed a rapid population growth of both species: rose-ringed parakeets increased from 1200 to 6300 individuals, while monk parakeets increased from 70 to 1487 individuals. These population trends were weakly reflected by the number of parakeet observations and the number of cells with parakeet observations but not by the number of individuals recorded in citizen science platforms. Moreover, for the monk parakeet, the number of cells with observations was related to the spatial spread of its nests across the study area. Although resource-intensive, long-term monitoring programs are essential to assess population changes and develop effective management actions for invasive species. Thus, contrasting this information with data taken through citizen science platforms can validate the utility of the latter for assessing population status of invasive species.