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Dear Parrots magazine,

What is indigenous?

I question the whole idea of ‘indigenous’ and exactly what it means and am, of course, referring to the saga of the feral parakeets we seem to hear so much about these days.

There seems to be a growth in sites where feral parakeets can be seen and at many of theses places, the general public seem very pleased to see the birds. I was in London recently, near Richmond Park, when I heard the characteristic call of the Ringneck parakeet. Looking around, I saw about four or five of them. Close to me were a mother and two children who were also looking at the birds. They were clearly fascinated by them, as I was, and to take such pleasure away from the general public is, I think, a great shame.

So is the Ringneck indigenous I ask? And if not, why not? I accept that these parakeets have probably escaped from an aviary somewhere so can be called ‘feral’. But what if they were to fly across Europe and into the British isles on their own volition and colonise, what then I ask? Would they still be indigenous or feral? And what about the marine life that is changing due to climate change, when fish species are inhabiting different regions, how would they be identified?

Curious questions indeed, but if there are talks of culling, who on earth can make a decision as to whether a species is native to a country or not. If the Ringnecks and Quakers are to be eliminated, what about the many other species like the grey squirrel etc, should they also be done away with?

John Weatherburn, Lincs




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