Thursday, April 12, 2007

Invasive Birds

The Conservation Science Institute, a “think thank and research organization founded in 1994 to resolve emerging ecological and environmental dilemmas,” has compiled a representative global list of 100 invasive species “to collectively illustrate the range of impacts caused by biological invasion.” Their list includes three bird species. Excerpts follow:
3. Acridotheres tristis (bird) Mynas are native to India, but have been introduced all over the world, mainly for their being able to reduce the insect population in agricultural areas. However, they reduce biodiversity by competing for nesting hollows, destroying chicks and eggs and evicting small mammals. Common Names: common myna, Hirtenmaina, Indian myna, Indian mynah, mynah

78. Pycnonotus cafer (bird) is a noisy, gregarious bird, distinguished by a conspicuous crimson patch below the root of the tail. It is considered to be invasive because it is an agricultural pest and destroy fruits, flowers, beans, tomatoes and peas, and may also help to spread the seed of other invasive species. It occurs naturally, from Pakistan to southwest China and has been introduced to many Pacific Islands, a number of which class this bird as an invasive. The bulbul (native to parts of Asia) was introduced to some of the Pacific Islands, where it has caused serious problems by eating fruit and vegetable crops, as well as nectar, seeds and buds. The bulbul is aggressive and chases off other bird species. Common Names: red-vented bulbul, Rußbülbül

89. Sturnus vulgaris (bird) Native to Europe, Asia and North Africa, the European starling has been introduced globally save in neotropic regions. The starling prefers lowland habitats and is an aggressive omnivore. European starlings cost hundreds of millions of dollars in agricultural damage each year and contribute to the decline of local native bird species through competition for resources and nesting space. Common Names: blackbird, common starling, English starling, Estornino pinto, Etourneau sansonnet, étourneau sansonnet, Europäischer Star, European starling

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