Last Updated on August 26, 2022 by Ali Shahid
As the sun sets on Kauai’s south side, a curious sound cuts through the tropical breeze every evening. Those are the sounds of parakeets. The number of parakeets in Hawaii is probably in the hundreds or thousands.
At dawn, they take off to roam the island from the same tall royal palm trees where they sleep every night. There was a time in the 1960s when rose-ringed parakeets were kept as pets.
The parakeets escaped, multiplied, and today there are approximately 5,000 parakeets on Kauai. They’re so beautiful, fluttering in the trees like little butterflies. However, they have become quite a nuisance in recent years.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how parakeets are affecting residents of Hawaii and what authorities are doing about them.
Invasive Rose-ringed Parakeets Story in Hawaii
A rose-ringed parakeet, or ring-necked parakeet, is a native species of Africa and Asia. They are commonly kept as pets. The parakeet reaches a size of 16 inches, including its long tail feather, and lives for 20-30 years.
A male has a red and black neck ring, while both have orange beaks. Additionally, they have a distinctive chirping call that makes them easy to recognize.
Across the globe, from Japan to Great Britain and now Hawaii, they have spread in the wild. The birds mostly cause problems on Kauai due to its lush vegetation and many farms.
Papaya, lychee, and passion fruit are among the tropical fruits that parakeets love on Kauai. It doesn’t take them long to do a great deal of damage.
From Where did Rose Ringed Parakeet
The Rose-ringed Parakeet originated in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia and has become a popular household pet worldwide.
Sadly, they were accidentally released on Kauai Island, Hawaii, in 1968. The 1982 Hurricane Iwa also contributed to the growth of the parakeet population, which now numbers 7000.
Impact of Rose Ringed Parakeet on Hawaii
The Rose-Ringed Parakeet is the most successful species of invasive parakeet in the world. They’re a serious threat to Hawai’i’s agriculture. Throughout the state, they eat fruit and grain, damaging valuable crops.
According to estimates on Kauai, these parakeets have resulted in 10% losses for small farms. It is estimated that the parakeet plague has a significant impact on the entire agricultural economy of the region, worth more than $65 million.
Rose-ringed Parakeets are not only threatening the Hawaiian Islands but also ecosystems worldwide. Additionally, they may spread invasive seeds, displace other native birds, and spread avian diseases in native ecosystems.
Their roosting behavior, droppings, and noise may negatively affect public health. The rose-ringed parakeet invades slowly. National Wildlife Research Center biologist Aaron Shiels explains that they are not recognized until they reach a critical mass.
Aside from agriculture, Kauai’s economy is also affected. In many vacation spots, majestic royal palms have been removed due to the droppings and chirps of these parakeets irritating tourists.
Conservationists worry that parrots will pollute the rainforests, which could lead to the extinction of endangered native birds and the spread of invasive plants.
What’s Hawaii doing to fight invasive parakeets?
Rose-ringed Parakeets are invasive and officials urge the public to report sightings. You can also report invasive species at www.643pest.org, operated by Hawaii Invasive Species Council.
If you are observing rose-ringed parakeet nests on Kauai, you are encouraged to call 855-Kauai-RRP (855-528-2477).
Are there parakeets on the Big Island of Hawaii?
Red-masked parakeets were first sighted on the Big Island in 1988. Although these loud social birds forage along the Kona coast, they roost and breed at high elevations on Huallai mountain.
There are now hundreds of them in the world, and they can be a nuisance for coffee farmers.
Are parakeets native to Maui?
Hawai’i is not home to any parrots in its native fauna, including parakeets. Originally from Africa and Asia, they have become popular pet birds worldwide.
Klug, Page E., et al. “Rose-ringed parakeets.” (2019).
Ali Shahid is a veterinarian by profession and an animal lover. He loves to give expert opinions about different animals. He has worked in top organization of birds like Bigbird Feed and Poultry Research institute. He loves birds, especially parrots and has great experience in different parrot farms.