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|Web of Science®
|Leaky doors: private captivity as a prominent source of bird introductions in Australia
|PLoS One, 2017; 12(2):e0172851-1-e0172851-18
|Public Library Science
|Miquel Vall-llosera, Phillip Cassey
|The international pet trade is a major source of emerging invasive vertebrate species. We used online resources as a novel source of information for accidental bird escapes, and we investigated the factors that influence the frequency and distribution of bird escapes at a continental scale. We collected information on over 5,000 pet birds reported to be missing on animal websites during the last 15 years in Australia. We investigated whether variables linked to pet ownership successfully predicted bird escapes, and we assessed the potential distribution of these escapes. Most of the reported birds were parrots (> 90%), thus, we analysed factors associated with the frequency of parrot escapes. We found that bird escapes in Australia are much more frequent than previously acknowledged. Bird escapes were reported more frequently within, or around, large Australian capital cities. Socio-economic factors, such as the average personal income level of the community, and the level of human modification to the environment were the best predictors of bird escapes. Cheaper parrot species, Australian natives, and parrot species regarded as peaceful or playful were the most frequently reported escapees. Accidental introductions have been overlooked as an important source of animal incursions. Information on bird escapes is available online in many higher income countries and, in Australia, this is particularly apparent for parrot species. We believe that online resources may provide useful tools for passive surveillance for non-native pet species. Online surveillance will be particularly relevant for species that are highly reported, such as parrots, and species that are either valuable or highly commensal.
Conservation of Natural Resources
|Copyright: © 2017 Vall-llosera, Cassey. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
|Appears in Collections:
|Aurora harvest 3
Environment Institute publications
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