The latest report of the London Natural History Society suggests that in the triangle of land from the River Lea, above, at Hackney, north to Epping Forest and east to Rainham Marshes, the species has reached a density of about 100 birds per square kilometre, most of them descendants of birds escaping from careless owners who kept them as pets.
Probably the most widely distributed parrot in the world, Psittacula krameri in the UK is established mainly in London and Kent, although smaller populations are being seen throughout Britain. The total number in Greater London is believed to exceed 10,000 and throughout the UK 30,000. Many of the observations are, however, made by amateur bird-watchers rather than professional naturalists.
Often seen along the Lea, the parakeet is now being seen closer to the City. Several have been seen in Dalston and at Victoria Park. It is protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act but, if it is causing damage to wild birds or crops, it can be killed under general licence.
Evidence is growing that the Psittacula krameri is harming native species by occupying their habitats and out-competing in the struggle for food.
David Altheer 211112