Authorities Move to Eliminate an Invader, But Supporters Rally to Its Defense
LONDON—Nobody knows how these birds got here from their Latin American homeland, or how they survive in a climate more suited to hot drinks and rubber boots than to tropical wildlife.
But the government considers Britain's feral monk parakeets—estimated population: between 55 and 87—a menace that requires radical control measures.
British authorities have compiled a long rap sheet of parakeet offenses, alleging that they are a potential threat to fruit crops and public safety. The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, or Defra, is worried that the large, communal nests the birds sometimes build on electric pylons could cause power cuts. Not making life easier for the parakeets is their neighbor-rumbling screech.