Nonnatives - Monk Parakeet

Monk Parakeet - Myiopsitta monachus

 

Florida's Exotic Wildlife. Species detail.

First year: 1969

Extirpated year:

Established status: Populations are confirmed breeding and apparently self-sustaining for 10 or more consecutive years

Estimated Florida range: 52 counties  At least 10 years

Statewide trend: Stable

Threats to natives:  Effects on native species is unknown. It is the most abundant naturalized parrot species and the only member of the parrot family that is not a cavity nester. Tested birds seem to be remarkably free of Newcastle and other avian diseases.

Species Account: The Monk Parakeet is native to South America east of the Andes from Bolivia to central Argentina (Forshaw 1973). Its initial introduction date into Florida is unknown, but it has been established in the Miami area since at least 1969 (Owre 1973). By 1975, this species was reported from 30 states, but large colonies existed only in Florida, California, Illinois, and New York (Neidermyer and Hickey 1977). It is often found in city parks. Large communal stick nests built on electrical transmission structures can be a problem. These large balls of twigs are used year-round for roosting by adults and are often situated high in royal palms, cabbage palms, melaleucas, or native oaks (Florida BBA 1986-91). The species is highly gregarious, and many colonies in Dade and Pinellas counties number in the hundreds and have persisted for many years, whereas small colonies tend to be ephemeral (Florida BBA 1986-91). No eradication program has been implemented in Florida. In its native range, Monk Parakeets inhabit open woods, cultivated lands, and palm groves (de Schauensee 1970), but in Florida, they inhabits surburban areas, often feeding in large flocks at feeders or on lawns (Florida BBA 1986-91), probably on grass seeds and insects (Forshaw 1973). It is a major agricultural pest in South America (Long 1981) and may become one in Florida if it spreads to agricultural areas.

Habitats: Central or core urban area, Low density suburban development, areas peripheral to core urban areas, and small towns.

County First Year Extirpated Year Breeding status Notes
North Central     At least 10 years  
Northeast     At least 10 years  
Southwest     At least 10 years  
South     At least 10 years  
         
Alachua     At least 10 years (B. Pranty, 2001 unpublished data)
Brevard     At least 10 years Reported confirmed breeding (Florida BBA 1986-91).
Broward     At least 10 years Reported confirmed breeding (Florida BBA 1986-91).
Charlotte     At least 10 years (B. Pranty, 2001 unpublished data)
Citrus     At least 10 years (B. Pranty, 2001 unpublished data)
Dade     At least 10 years Reported confirmed breeding (Florida BBA 1986-91).
Duval     Not reported breeding  
Hernando     At least 10 years (B. Pranty, 2001 unpublished data)
Highlands     At least 10 years (B. Pranty, 2001 unpublished data)
Hillsborough     At least 10 years Reported confirmed breeding (Florida BBA 1986-91).
Indian River     At least 10 years (B. Pranty, 2001 unpublished data)
Lee     At least 10 years (B. Pranty, 2001 unpublished data)
Leon     At least 10 years (B. Pranty, 2001 unpublished data)
Levy     Not reported breeding 2 at Cedar Key (Pranty 1996d)
Manatee     At least 10 years (B. Pranty, 2001 unpublished data)
Marion     At least 10 years (B. Pranty, 2001 unpublished data)
Martin     At least 10 years (B. Pranty, 2001 unpublished data)
Monroe     At least 10 years Reported confirmed breeding (Florida BBA 1986-91).
Okeechobee     At least 10 years Reported confirmed breeding (Florida BBA 1986-91).
Orange     At least 10 years Reported confirmed breeding (Florida BBA 1986-91).
Osceola     At least 10 years Reported confirmed breeding (Florida BBA 1986-91); however, reported not breeding by Pranty (1998)
Palm Beach     At least 10 years Reported confirmed breeding (Florida BBA 1986-91).
Pasco     At least 10 years  
Pinellas     At least 10 years Reported confirmed breeding (Florida BBA 1986-91).
Polk     At least 10 years  
Saint Johns     At least 10 years Reported confirmed breeding (Florida BBA 1986-91).
Sarasota     At least 10 years (B. Pranty, 2001 unpublished data)
Seminole     At least 10 years Reported confirmed breeding (Florida BBA 1986-91).
Sumter     At least 10 years (B. Pranty, 2001 unpublished data)

References

de Schauensee, R. M. 1970. A guide to the birds of South America. Livingston Publishing Company, Wynnewood, Pennsylvania.

Forshaw, J. M. 1973. Parrots of the world. Landsdowne Press, Melbourne, Australia.

James, F. C. 1997. Nonindigenous Birds. Pages 139-156 In Strangers Among Us: Impact and management of nonindigenous species in Florida. (Simberloff,D., D. Schmitz, and E. Wilson, eds.) Island Press, Washington D.C.

Long, J.L. 1981. Introduced Birds of the world. A.H.& A.R. Reed, Ltd. Sydney Australia

Neidermyer, W. J., and J. J. Hickey. 1977. The Monk Parakeet in the United States, 1970-75. American Birds 31:273-278.

Owre, O. T. 1973. A consideration of the exotic avifauna of southeastern Florida. Wilson Bulletin 85:495.

Pranty, B. 1996d. Field observations [fall report: August-November 1995]. Florida Field Naturalist 24:48-59.

Pranty, B. 1998b. Field observations [summer report: June-July 1998]. Florida Field Naturalist 26:26-32.

Pranty, B. In preparation. Status of the monk parakeet in Florida.

Spreyer, M. F., and E. H. Bucher. 1998. Monk parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus). In A. Poole and F. Gill, editors. Birds of North America, No. 292. The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and The American Ornithological Union, Washington D.C., USA.

Links to more information

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