Alien species are the second leading cause of the global biodiversity crisis, after habitat loss and fragmentation. Popular pet species, such as parrots and parakeets (Aves, Psittaciformes), are often introduced outside their native range as a result of the pet trade. On escape from captivity, some such species, such as the ring–necked parakeet and the monk parakeet, are highly invasive and successfully compete with native species. Populations of Amazon parrots (Amazona spp.) can be found throughout the world, but data on their status, distribution and impact are incomplete. We gathered and reviewed the available information concerning global trade, distribution, abundance and ecology of Amazon parrots outside their native range. Our review shows that at least nine species of Amazon parrots have established populations outside their original range of occurrence throughout the world (in Europe, South Africa, the Caribbean islands, Hawaii, and North and South America). Their elusive behaviour and small population size suggest that the number of alien nuclei could be underestimated or at undetected. Despite international trade bans, the large trade of wild–caught Amazon parrots in past decades appears to have contributed to the establishment of alien populations worldwide. Establishment success seems to differ geographically. While European populations are still small and growing slowly, USA populations are large and expanding geographically. This difference is not related to large propagule pressure (trade) but possibly to a better niche match between native and introduced ranges. Amazona aestiva is the most frequently encountered Amazona parrot, with at least eight alien populations reported to date. All these populations, with the exception of those in the USA where the climate is more suitable for their establishment, are composed of a low number of individuals even though they have been established for a long period of time. Further research is required as little information is available on the ecology and potential impact of these alien populations.
Especies exóticas, Amazona, Evaluación del área de distribución, Éxito del establecimiento, Repercusiones
Reception date: 29 IV 16 | Acceptation date: 20 IX 16 | Publication date: 4 I 17
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