I was in a park in London earlier today and spotted several ring-necked parakeets, part of a larger 'invasion' of our shores from Africa, South America and South-East Asia.
It is estimated that there are 30,000 ring-necked parakeets now in the U.K. - see pictures here. It is all very serious, so serious that the BBC reports that The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds is considering a cull and
The Government is currently developing a framework for dealing with non-native species - such as the parakeets, Chinese mitten crabs and grey squirrels - and assessing the impact of native species to these shores.
I started to pay attention to the issue of parakeets after I read Jacob Cartwright and Nick Jordan's guide to Non-Native Species of the Britisher Isles - Volume 1.
In their book, the artists identify new alien species, outline efforts given to their control and create an hilarious, understated, pseudo-scientific satire on what can only be called 'migrant neuroses'.
It's an illness that's catching on in the U.K. just now.
Then there's me earlier this year preparing a major TV investigation in to official statistics on immigration. The film didn't enter production but the story did break, causing the Government lots of angst.
How to deal with rising numbers not of migrants but of increasingly hysterical journalists who cover immigration?
Maybe Cartwright and Jordan have an idea for parakeets that could be adapted:
Captured birds could be sent to the Phillipines to compensate a decline in their native parakeet population, caused mainly by the birds being used for military target practice.
Image courtesy of Damien.