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Madrid to curb exploding parakeet population using 'humane' method

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Madrid to curb exploding parakeet population using 'humane' method
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Madrid is to take steps to reduce its parakeet population after numbers soared in recent years.

Many in the Spanish capital regard the invasive monk parakeets, which are native to South America, as a pest because of noise and waste.

The bright green parakeets are considered by some to be excessively noisy and their droppings unhygienic.

There are also concerns about their impact on native bird species and the local ecosystem.

Madrid's council is aiming to reduce numbers of the birds after a recent survey showed the population in the city had grown from 9,000 to 12,000 in only three years.

Santiago Soria, Chair of the Biodiversity Service in the council, insisted the control method will be humane.

The programme will involve sterilising the eggs in their nests by blowing air on them so that the parakeets don`t notice these eggs are dead and they will continue brooding but the population won't grow.

Blas Molina, from the conservation organisation Seo Bird Life said the birds have had a "striking" impact and that the organisation is "evaluating their competition with another native species".

Many locals appear to approve of the plan because of the noise and droppings birds produce.

Although green monk parakeets are native to South America, many were imported to Spain as pets before ownership was outlawed eight years ago.

Feral African and Indian parakeets have established themselves in the UK since the late sixties and are generally believed to have bred from escaped pets.

Numbers remained low until the mid-1990s but they have also spread to other parts of the UK, such as central Glasgow in Scotland.

Indian parakeets can also be found in the Netherlands, Belgium, the Italian and Portuguese capitals and along the River Rhine in Germany.