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Why has New Zealand banned parrots as domestic pets?

New Zealand banned parrots; Exotic parrots are on a collision course with becoming a threat in New Zealand, as pet owners

By Aroosa Reshi
New Update
Why has New Zealand banned parrots as domestic pets?

Ground Report | New Delhi: New Zealand banned parrots; Exotic parrots are on a collision course with becoming a threat in New Zealand, as pet owners release hundreds of them into the wild each year, threatening the native bird's existence.

According to the University of Auckland, about 6% of New Zealanders keep pet birds, with an average of 331 animals lost per year; 92 per cent are exotic parrots, mainly in the Auckland area.

Margaret Stanley, an associate professor of biological sciences at the institute, the figures are cautious because scientists primarily rely on bird owners to report their missing pets. He said that in some situations people would not report it online, and in others, they were purposefully publishing them.

She has done simulations to see how likely domesticated parrots of the same species are to be discovered in the wild, giving them the opportunity to breed and eventually to have the same food and nesting space as native birds.

"We looked at all the information on survival and lifespan for these species, and what we discovered was that there was an over 80% chance that a male-female pair was at large at any given time in the same local board area. Seven species we simulated," she says in a report in The Guardian.

Parrots can also transmit diseases, which is terrible news for 40% of New Zealand's birds already endangered. Dr Imogen Bassett, Auckland Council's leading biosafety expert, said the findings are not surprising.

Under the city's pest management plan, Aucklanders will be prohibited from breeding and selling a variety of exotic parrots, including monk parrots, ringneck parrots and rainbow lorikeets, from 1 September.

"They have a long history of invading dozens of countries and posing a serious threat," Bassett warned. "That's why studies like Margaret's are so alarming because it emphasizes the dismal prospect of all those other countries getting involved."

She has run simulations on the probability of pet parrots of the same species being found in the wild together, which would give them an opportunity to breed and eventually compete for the same food and nest space as native birds, said the university’s associate professor in biological studies, Dr Margaret Stanley.

According to Bassett, unlike when possums, rats, rabbits and other insects were introduced to New Zealand in the 19th century, New Zealand now has the ability to eliminate parrot infestations.

"We are still cleaning up the pieces of that costly and terrible disaster 150 years later. We know that when it comes to biosecurity, prevention is better than cure." Stanley went on to say that this cannot simply be a local approach; It needs to be banned across the country.

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