Date Published: May 2011
The Quaker parrot (Myiopsitta monachus) is a medium-sized bird, mostly green and grey with a blue-grey forehead. It is unique among psittaciformes in that it builds a stick nest rather than breeding in a cavity. These stick nests are often communal, with multiple pairs breeding in the same large stick structure.
Quaker parrots are native to temperate and subtropical regions of South America and can be found near large water sources in the lowlands east of the Andes Mountains from Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, southern Brazil south to the Patagonia region of Argentina. Self-sustaining feral populations have been recorded in several US states and various countries of Europe (namely Austria, Spain, Belgium, Italy, France, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia and England), as well as in Chile, the Cayman Islands, Guadeloupe, Israel, Bermuda, Bahamas, Puerto Rico and Japan. It adapts readily to urban areas.
The Quaker parrot is not globally threatened and is listed as least concern by the IUCN. The species has an extremely large range and the population trend appears to be increasing. The Quaker parrot is listed on Appendix II to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna and export and import of this species is therefore subject to regulation under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
In Tasmania the Quaker parrot is currently listed as a controlled animal under the Nature Conservation Act 2002.
The natural distribution of the Quaker parrot includes areas similar in climate to Tasmania and as this species is very adaptable there is potential for this species to establish in Tasmania. If the Quaker parrot established in Tasmania it is likely to compete with the green rosella (Platycercus caledonicus), eastern rosella (Platycercus eximius), galah (Cacatua roseicapilla), sulphur-crested cockatoo (Cacatua galarita) and yellow-tailed black cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus), as well as the introduced little and long-billed corellas (Cacatua sanguine and Cacatua tenuirostris) for food. There is also some potential for competition with the blue-winged parrot (Neophema chrystoma) and the orange bellied parrot (Neophema chrysogaster) for food and other resources.
The establishment of the Quaker parrot in Tasmania also has the potential for high impact on the agricultural industries such as cereal grains, oilseeds, legumes, fruit and vegetables as the species is known to cause serious damage to these commodities. Control programs have been conducted against this species in some countries.
Quaker Parrot (Myiopsitta monachus) (529Kb)