The "extra-tropical“ department of the parrot researchers group of the International Ornithological Union (IOU) with Roelant Jonker (City Parrots & CML Leiden University) and Michael Braun (Heidelberg University) organize the global parrot count. The main focus of the study are neozoon parrots, meaning parrots which have been introduced by man to locations they are not native to. Since the 1960s several parrot species have established viable breeding populations especially in the Northern Hemisphere. But also in tropical countries and the Southern Hemisphere non-native parrots have became established as breeding birds. We would like to find out how many species there are and if those populations are of conservation importance. One example are the populations of endangered Mexican yellow-headed amazon (Amazona oratrix) in Germany and the U.S.
However we expect the most common species to be counted are the Asian Ring-necked parakeet (Psittacula krameri) and the South American monk parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus). However in recent years many more species have become established. We are looking to cooperate with partners all around the world to make this count a success.
Everybody who is interested in the study and who is able to make a parrot roost count in the evening is invited to take part. Therefore it is necessary to know the places where the parrots roost at night. It is important to find that place, the exact roosting trees and a good position for counting them. For scientific reasons we are not only interested in the number of parrots, but also the key factors of the roosting sites like tree species or the habitat structures (trees, forests, buildings, streets etc). It is best to find some birding friends to help, which will not only make the count more accurate but also pleasurable.
Roelant Jonker and Michael Braun will coordinate the count. Please contact us by email firstname.lastname@example.org before the count takes place, so we can send you tips on how to effectively contribute to the count.
The global parrot count will be held in Jaunary & Februari 2013. This is the hight of winter on the northern hemisphere and the time when parrot roost most concentrated.
We will share our results with the partners involved and publish those results in a scientific magazine. Everyone contributing to the study will be listed with full name and location in the acknowledgement of the publication. If you would prefer to stay anonymous, please let us know.
As we are parrot researchers, we are basically not interested in how to reduce or kill non-native parrot populations. We would like to study them and get more useful field data to share with colleagues in the field. The results will contribute to parrot conservation. If we continue these surveys for several years we get good and reliable data that show how fast an introduced parrot population may grow and which key factors are needed for successful establishment. We can use these data for re-introduction programs of threatened species which will become a major parrot research field for the future.
If you have any information about the early establishment phase of parrot populations, where they breed and how they develop, please don’t hesitate to share your knowledge with us. This knowledge may be important for future conservation work.
If you are able to count native parrots in your country or city, you are most welcome. We chose neozoon parrots because they usually live in cities and are well known. Wild native parrots are much harder to study. But if there is any person who would like to join the “world parrot count” please feel free to!