Friday, 11 December 2009

Ring-necked Parakeets (in Britain)

Researchers at Imperial College are starting a study into Ring-necked Parakeets in Britain. They are first compiling a list of roosts and would especially like to hear from you if you know of any roosts, and they are also looking for volunteers to take part in a Parakeet count on 3rd January. If you can't make that date, maybe you'd like to be involved in a count later in the year. I've pasted the details of Project Parakeet below, and you'll find a contact email address at the end.

Parakeet Population Census : Call for volunteers

We are a research group at the Biology Department of Imperial College London. We have recently begun a four year study into the effects of the ring-necked parakeet on native bird species in the UK. As part of this work it is essential for us to have accurate estimates of the current population size of the ring-necked parakeet in the UK, and its growth rate. The last census was carried out in 2001/2, and current estimates of population size are based on this data and the growth rates that they estimated at the time. This gives a current estimate of 20,000-50,000 individuals.

In order to estimate the current population size we intend to co-ordinate a large scale roost count. The first count will take place on Sunday 3rd January 2010, and will be simultaneous across as many known roosts as possible, using the same methods at all sites. If the count is successful we intend to repeat the count every three months to enable us to estimate the population growth rate and any changes in roost usage. We are now seeking volunteers who would be willing to assist with two elements of this project:

1) Compiling a list of all known roost sites

2) Assisting with the first roost count on Sunday 3rd January 2010.

Counts will begin two hours before sunset (14:04 on Jan 3rd) and will continue for half an hour after sunset (16:34) to allow for any individuals arriving in the residual light of dusk. The intention is to have several people counting at each site in order to control for individual error and allow us to cover all entry routes into the roost. No experience is necessary to assist with the count as we will provide a full, clear protocol to follow, along with data collection sheets. The data that we collect during these counts will be prepared for publication in relevant journals and will be widely publicised.

If you know of any roost locations or are interested in assisting with the count on Jan 3rd (or for any future counts), please contact us at:

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