Special Issue "Ecology and Conservation of Parrots in Their Native and Non-Native Ranges"

A special issue of Diversity (ISSN 1424-2818). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Diversity".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. José L. Tella
Website
Guest Editor
CSIC- Estación Biológica de Doñana EBD, 41092 Seville, Spain
Interests: biological invasions; conservation biology; ecology and conservation of parrots; Neotropical birds; seed dispersal; threatened species; urban birds; wildlife trade
Dr. Guillermo Blanco
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Evolutionary Ecology, National Museum of Natural Sciences, CSIC. José Gutiérrez Abascal 2, 28006 Madrid, Spain
Interests: conservation biology; ecology; birds; ecotoxicology; pathogens; evolution; raptors; parrots; corvids; behavioral ecology; population dynamics; population trends; pharmaceuticals; pathogens; conservation management; wildlife
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Martina Carrete
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Physical, Chemical and Natural Systems, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Sevilla, Spain
Interests: biological invasions; biological conservation; evolutionary ecology; animal behaviour; global change

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce a forthcoming Special Issue of Diversity focused on parrots, which are among the most fascinating, attractive and threatened birds in the world.

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With about 400 species widely distributed across continents and oceanic islands, parrots (Psittaciformes) stand out among birds by their poor conservation status. According to the 2019 IUCN Red List, 26 % of parrot species are threatened with extinction and 14 % are listed as near threatened. Moreover, 58 % of all the species are experiencing global population declines. Although threats such as habitat loss and wildlife trade are widely recognized for parrots, detailed studies on the biology, ecology, population dynamics, population genetics and site-specific conservation threats are lacking for most of them. The need for further research is exemplified by the splits and descriptions of new parrot species and by the ecological functions of parrots, such as seed dispersal, that have been overlooked until recent years. Given the ecosystem services they may provide, the conservation of parrot populations may contribute to the health of the habitats where they live.

Concernedly, their attractiveness has made them subject of intensive transport to foreign pet markets across the world. International trade has caused that at least 60 parrot species had established populations out of their native ranges, often resulting in flourishing populations that contrast with the poor conservation status of many native populations. However, studies on non-native populations have been mostly restricted to two parakeet species. Much more research is needed on these non-native parrot populations, including aspects such as their establishment and spread processes, population dynamics, potential impacts (positive and negative) on their recipient habitats and communities, the need or not for control and/or eradication, or their ecological functions in their invaded regions. 

This Special Issue is an exciting opportunity to combine and synthesise recent research on both native and non-native parrot populations. Diversity’s team and we kindly invite you to submit a manuscript focused on any of the above topics. Although specific case studies with broad implications are welcome, we encourage authors to submit large-scale and/or multi-specific studies, synthesis works and reviews that could better enlarge our knowledge on the ecology and conservation of native and invasive parrots. If you are interested in this opportunity or have any question, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Prof. Dr. José L. Tella
Dr. Guillermo Blanco
Dr. Martina Carrete
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Diversity is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Conservation threats
  • Conservation management
  • Population dynamics
  • Population genetics
  • Habitat suitability
  • Ecological functions
  • Invasion processes
  • Population ecology of non-native parrots
  • Positive and negative impacts of non-native parrots
  • Ecological functions of non-native parrots

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Range-Wide Population Assessment of the Endangered Yellow-Naped Amazon (Amazona auropalliata)
Diversity 2020, 12(10), 377; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12100377 - 30 Sep 2020
Abstract
Yellow-naped amazons, Amazona auropalliata, have experienced a dramatic population decline due to persistent habitat loss and poaching. In 2017, BirdLife International changed the species’ status from threatened to endangered and estimated that between 10,000 and 50,000 individuals remained in the wild. An [...] Read more.
Yellow-naped amazons, Amazona auropalliata, have experienced a dramatic population decline due to persistent habitat loss and poaching. In 2017, BirdLife International changed the species’ status from threatened to endangered and estimated that between 10,000 and 50,000 individuals remained in the wild. An accurate estimate of the number of remaining wild individuals is critical to implementing effective conservation plans. Wright et al. conducted roost count surveys in Costa Rica and Nicaragua during 2016 and published their data in 2019; however, no population data exists for the rest of the range. We conducted roost counts at 28 sites across Mexico, Guatemala, and the Bay Islands in Roatan during 2018 and 2019. We counted 679 birds and combined our data with the published Wright et al. (2019) data for a total of 2361 wild yellow-naped amazons observed across the species’ range. There were fewer roosts detected in the northern region of the range than in the southern region. We found that roosts were most likely to occur in built-up rural and pasture habitat, with 71% found within 100 m of human habitation. Our results illustrate the need for immediate conservation action to mitigate decline, such as enforced legal action against poaching, nest guarding, and increased community education efforts. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Using Peoples’ Perceptions to Improve Conservation Programs: The Yellow-Shouldered Amazon in Venezuela
Diversity 2020, 12(9), 342; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12090342 - 05 Sep 2020
Abstract
The perceptions and attitudes of local communities help understand the social drivers of unsustainable wildlife use and the social acceptability of conservation programs. We evaluated the social context influencing illegal harvesting of the threatened yellow-shouldered Amazon (Amazona barbadensis) and the effectiveness [...] Read more.
The perceptions and attitudes of local communities help understand the social drivers of unsustainable wildlife use and the social acceptability of conservation programs. We evaluated the social context influencing illegal harvesting of the threatened yellow-shouldered Amazon (Amazona barbadensis) and the effectiveness of a longstanding conservation program in the Macanao Peninsula, Margarita Island, Venezuela. We interviewed 496 people from three communities and documented their perceptions about (1) status and the impact of threats to parrot populations, (2) acceptability of the conservation program, and (3) social processes influencing unsustainable parrot use. Approval of the program was high, but it failed to engage communities despite their high conservation awareness and positive attitudes towards the species. People identified unsustainable use as the main threat to parrots, but negative perceptions were limited to selling, not harvesting or keeping. Harvesters with different motivations (keepers, sellers) may occur in Macanao, and social acceptability of both actors may differ. Future efforts will require a stakeholder engagement strategy to manage conflicts and incentives to participation. A better understanding of different categories of harvesters, as well as their motives and role in the illegal trade network would provide insights to the design of a behavior change campaign. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Opportunistic or Non-Random Wildlife Crime? Attractiveness Rather Than Abundance in the Wild Leads to Selective Parrot Poaching
Diversity 2020, 12(8), 314; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12080314 - 14 Aug 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
Illegal wildlife trade, which mostly focuses on high-demand species, constitutes a major threat to biodiversity. However, whether poaching is an opportunistic crime within high-demand taxa such as parrots (i.e., harvesting proportional to species availability in the wild), or is selectively focused on particular, [...] Read more.
Illegal wildlife trade, which mostly focuses on high-demand species, constitutes a major threat to biodiversity. However, whether poaching is an opportunistic crime within high-demand taxa such as parrots (i.e., harvesting proportional to species availability in the wild), or is selectively focused on particular, more desirable species, is still under debate. Answering this question has important conservation implications because selective poaching can lead to the extinction of some species through overharvesting. However, the challenges of estimating species abundances in the wild have hampered studies on this subject. We conducted a large-scale survey in Colombia to simultaneously estimate the relative abundance of wild parrots through roadside surveys (recording 10,811 individuals from 25 species across 2221 km surveyed) and as household, illegally trapped pets in 282 sampled villages (1179 individuals from 21 species). We used for the first time a selectivity index to test selection on poaching. Results demonstrated that poaching is not opportunistic, but positively selects species based on their attractiveness, defined as a function of species size, coloration, and ability to talk, which is also reflected in their local prices. Our methodological approach, which shows how selection increases the conservation impacts of poaching for parrots, can be applied to other taxa also impacted by harvesting for trade or other purposes. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
High Prevalence of Novel Beak and Feather Disease Virus in Sympatric Invasive Parakeets Introduced to Spain From Asia and South America
Diversity 2020, 12(5), 192; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12050192 - 13 May 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD) is a globally widespread infectious bird disease that mainly affects species within the Order Psittaciformes (parrots and allies). The disease is caused by an avian circovirus (the beak and feather disease virus, BFDV), which is highly [...] Read more.
The psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD) is a globally widespread infectious bird disease that mainly affects species within the Order Psittaciformes (parrots and allies). The disease is caused by an avian circovirus (the beak and feather disease virus, BFDV), which is highly infectious and can lead to severe consequences in wild and captive populations during an outbreak. Both legal and illegal trading have spread the BFDV around the world, although little is known about its prevalence in invasive parrot populations. Here, we analyze the BFDV prevalence in sympatric invasive populations of rose-ringed (Psittacula krameri) and monk parakeets (Myiopsitta monachus) in Southern Spain. We PCR-screened 110 blood samples (55 individuals from each species) for BFDV and characterized the genotypes of five positives from each species. About 33% of rose-ringed parakeets and 37% of monk parakeets sampled were positive for BFDV, while neither species showed disease symptoms. The circovirus identified is a novel BFDV genotype common to both species, similar to the BFDV genotypes detected in several parrot species kept in captivity in Saudi Arabia, South Africa and China. Our data evidences the importance of an accurate evaluation of avian diseases in wild populations, since invasive parrots may be bringing BFDV without showing any visually detectable clinical sign. Further research on the BFDV prevalence and transmission (individual–individual, captive–wild and wild–captive) in different bird orders and countries is crucial to understand the dynamics of the viral infection and minimize its impact in captive and wild populations. Full article
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