April 3, 2016 by Julie Watson
U.S. researchers are launching studies on Mexico's red-crowned parrot—a species that has been adapting so well to living in cities in California and Texas after escaping from the pet trade that the population may now rival that in its native country.
The research comes amid debate over whether some of the birds flew across the border into
and should be listed under the Endangered Species Act. Texas
urban areas are just starting
to draw attention from scientists because of their intelligence,
resourcefulness and ability to adapt. There is also a growing realization that
the city dwellers may offer a population that could help save certain species
from extinction. U.S.
Parrots are thriving today in cities from
to Los Angeles ,
while in the tropics and subtropics, a third of all parrot species are at risk
of going extinct because of habitat loss and the pet trade. , Brownsville Texas
Most are believed to have escaped from importers or smugglers over the past half-century, when tens of thousands of parrots were brought into the
from Latin America.
Scientists only now are starting to study them.
After doing most of his research in places like Peru, Donald Brightsmith is concentrating on the squawking birds nesting in Washingtonian palms lining avenues and roosting in the oak trees in front lawns in South Texas.