Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri)
The Rose-ringed Parakeet is a species present in tropical Africa and the south of Asia. It is a species which is often kept in captivity and used as a pet, and the European populations come from birds which have escaped or were released in the wild. It has been introduced in various countries in Europe such as England, Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Spain and Portugal. It is usually found in big cities where they used to be sold and kept in captivity. Hence, in Spain, the most important populations are in Barcelona, Sevilla, and villages along the Mediterranean coast. In Portugal, it is present in the Lisbon area (where most of the population is) and in coastal areas with a high density of population such as Porto, Mira, Caldas da Rainha, Portimão and Lagos. It was also introduced in São Miguel in the Azores where it is rare and localised and recorded in Santa Maria. There were incidents of breeding in Madeira in 2009.
In Spain, the oldest sighting was in Caceres in 1970. In Barcelona, the population has been present since 1980 and the first breeding there and in Malaga happened in the 80’s and in Valencia in the 90’s. In Portugal, the species was first recorded at the end of the 70’s.
In Spain, the species can appear anywhere but the breeding has been restricted to the Barcelona, Valencia, Alicante, Malaga, Sevilla and Madrid areas and in the Asturies. In Portugal, the species breeds mostly around Lisbon and also in Mira.
The Spanish Population was estimated to be between 213-254 pairs in 2003 but has increased since. In Catalonia, 80-100 birds were counted between 1999 and 2002. A new census between 2006 and 2009 registered 272-499 parakeets, which shows an annual increase of 17%. Studies in London showed that the species expanded 0.4 km/year over 12 years. In June 2013, a flock of about 300 birds was recorded in Sevilla. In Lisbon, a roost of 20-30 birds was counted in 1990 and there were 208 parakeets in this same roost in November 2003. The Portuguese population has been estimated at about 250 birds, most of them in the Lisbon area. There is no proof of regular breeding in the Algarve. A look at the data available on ebird shows that there are a few sparse sightings between Bensafrim and Tavira, mostly along the coast. At Ria de Alvor, the species was recorded for the 1st time in 2000 and then 2001 and 2002 when the maximum, only 2 birds, was seen. The species only reappered in 2007 and between 2010 and 2012 and in 2015. It has not been registered since.
The species is resident in urban parks and gardens with big trees providing food and roosting places. The only movements registered in winter were to look for food so the breeding and wintering ranges are quite similar. The expansion of the species is limited by the presence of trees with holes where it can breed. That is why the Rose-ringed Parakeet has not spread as much as the Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus) which builds its own nest.
In 2020, SPEA organised a census of the species at roosts. The firsts results, without surprise, show that most of the birds are found in the Lisbon area. This census will be followed by another one at the end of 2021.