The problem caused by the Argentine parrots (Myiopsitta monachus) in large cities such as Madrid, Barcelona and many others throughout the national geography has already been commented on several times in this blog.
As we know, they are birds considered as “invaders” that were introduced in Spain a few decades ago as pets or “pets” and that ended up colonizing parks and gardens due to the unbearable nature of keeping them at home (due to the noise they generate). In this way, they have multiplied that they are displacing native species that cannot compete with them (for example, sparrows) thus affecting local biodiversity.
In addition, they are transmitting agents of diseases such as psittacosis (among others) and their massive presence causes very annoying noises and deteriorates the trees where they build their immense nests of up to 200 kilos of weight (which pose a risk to people and property in case of fall).
These days, much information is appearing in the media regarding the measures that the City Council of Madrid intends to take in the face of autumn 2020 to control or at least reduce the population of these birds in the capital. Not exempt from controversy, by the way.
The fact is that it has finally been decided to officially intervene in the face of such a brutal increase in the population of these birds in the parks and gardens of Madrid (estimated a 33% growth in the last 3 years according to some sources). Currently, 12,000 copies are estimated, but surely there are many more. The most affected districts appear to be Carabanchel and Moncloa – Aravaca.
The idea of the City Council is to control the population through “ethical” capture and sacrifice in specialized centers of adult specimens, as well as sterilization of the eggs in the nests (injecting air to make the embryo unfeasible). To do this you must access the nests and place nets, which will be difficult since they are usually built at high altitudes. The Madrid City Council has had the advice of the Spanish Ornithological Society for census and population mapping purposes.
As always when control measures are announced against any invasive or harmful species, opinions against and in favor of them do not wait too long. In the first case, PACMA (Animalist Party Against Animal Abuse) has already demanded the immediate withdrawal of the control plan announced by the Madrid City Council. They consider it an indiscriminate “slaughter” and suggest alternative methods such as the placement of baits with anti-conceptual feed.
There are also opinions about the viability and possibilities of success of the plan since in other cities where it has been tried it has not been very positive or has had serious technical difficulties to be carried out as it had been initially contemplated.
Surely there is no single method or control system for Argentine parrots that can satisfy all parties. In fact, in other cities, there has been an attempt to reduce its population by shooting (causing great controversy given the increasing sensitivity of the population in relation to these issues) and now other possibilities such as male sterilization or genetic modification to reduce reproductive potential
In any case, you should always try to maintain a balance between the necessary measures to keep under control a population of animals considered invasive or harmful to the biodiversity of an area (either the Argentine parrots in Spain, the badgers in the United Kingdom or, for, for example, kangaroos in Australia) and the concrete way of carrying out this control in order to respect the rights of animals on the one hand and obtain the greatest consensus among the different social agents on the other.