pjlatasdvm@gmail.com's picture

The following is a personal opinion piece.

Every geographical section and the veterinary section have urban parrots in their region or responsibility.

Urban parrots present special situations, with many commonalities between regions and with many differences to traditional biological and natural history studies. We need to accept that the unwanted influences of policy-makers, politics, socioeconomics, public opinion and many other subjective impacts are part of the urban parrot study, where those influences are much less intense in "wild", non-urban areas. The serious study of non-native species is already biased in many ways, and unfortunately the study of city-dwelling birds is even more filled with potential conflict. I feel it is our responsibility to correct those lapses.

Geographical Sections have more than enough to deal with, without piling on the delicate and labyrinthine extra stress of urban wildlife issues. The Urban Parrot Section can FOCUS on these topics.

Urban parrots interact with human population in ways that non-urban parrots do not, and that fact itself is enough to maintain an Urban Parrot Section. On a personal note, decades ago when I was a field biologist, the last thing I wanted to do was interact with or have my work involve humans in any way. I assume that basic biologists have not changed that much over the years, and should welcome investigators who want and accept the challenge.

And the sad fact is that this field is neglected, and the sad fact is that urban areas and urban impact are growing logarithmically while protected and rural areas are shrinking at the same rate. I think that we, as scientists first, should pay attention, address the situation, and not be "caught with our pants down" --as my grandad would say.

I think it is best that we acknowledge this, and move on and ensure that this group continues to support strong investigations based on the basic tenents of scientific investigation.

I hope the Urban Parrot Section will recover and thrive.