Monk Parakeet
(Quaker parrot)
(Myiopsitta monachus)

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Invasive Status
Mildly Invasive Population increasing
Natural Range
  • Central South America
Introduced Range
  • West Europe
  • North America
  • Some Caribbean islands
  • Chile
  • Kenya
  • Japan
  • Israel
Pet trade

Damage to infrastructure

Outcompeting natives for food

Removal Methods

Ownership bans


Destruction of nests

The monk parakeet (Psittacosis monarchs), also called the Turquoises Quaker parrot, is a species of parrot which has been introduced to a large number of countries around the world. 


Native RangeEdit

The monk parakeet is native to central and north-east Argentina, the whole of Uruguay, the states of Rio Grande do Sul and east Mato Grosso do Sul in Brazil, almost the whole of Paraguay and central and south-east Bolivia. [1]

Introduced RangeEdit

The monk parakeet has been introduced to many regions across the world.

In the monk parakeet's native continent, South America, the parrot has been introduced to Chile. [2/3]

In Central America, the monk parakeet can be found in the Cayman islands and Puerto Rico. It may also be present in the Bahamas. [2]

The monk parakeet's North American introduced range runs through Mexico [4] , USA and the Canadian state of Quebec. Offshore, it is present in Bermuda. The bird is present in 16 of the United States of America's states: Illinois, Michigan, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Colorado, Oregon and California. There are also unconfirmed sightings from Colorado, Missouri, Ohio and South Carolina. [2]

Within Asia, the monk parakeet can be seen in Japan** and Israel. [3]

In Africa, the monk parakeet has been introduced to Kenya, as well as the Canary Islands. [2]

This parrot's European range extends through Slovakia [3], the Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, the Italian island of Sicily, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain [2] and Gibraltar [3] . It is also present in the UK, although it may not be established [5] .

Pathways and IntroductionEdit

The main pathway for monk parakeets is via the pet trade. The birds are popular pets and may escape. [2]

In the United Kingdom, the first birds were introduced in a group of 31 from Whipsnade Zoo in 1936. The species has been known to breed in this country since the 1970s. [5]

In the United States of America, monk parakeets have been present in the Miami area since 1969. [6]


Monk parakeets are unusual as parrots, in that they aren't cavity nesters. Where the nest on electricity pylons, the nests can bridge the gap between the caples when they are wet, resulting in blackouts and even fires. Over a five-month period in 2001 South Florida, 198 outages were caused by the parakeets, resulting in costs of $221,000 and $24,000 lost revenue for electricity companies. [2/7]

Monk parakeets have been reported as aggressive towards birds and may even have killed birds. They also appear to scare off native birds from feeding sites. It is also feared that the parakeets may transfer Newcastle disease and psittacosis.^ Tested birds have been largely free of these diseases, however. [6]

The parakeets could damage crops. [2/5]

Control and Removal MethodsEdit

Ownership of monk parakeets has been banned in a number of US states. [3/5]

Trapping and destruction of nests is used to reduce population numbers. [5]

These birds are not protected from shooting in the UK, despite protest from the public. A cull program is also in place in Britain. [7]


1 Neotropical Birds

2 Invasive Species Compendium

3 Beauty of Birds

4 Wildscreen ARKive

5 GB Non-natives Factsheet Editor

6 Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

7 The Guardian: "Monk parakeets in UK to be culled over dangers to electricity and native species"