Rose-ringed Parakeet Psittacula krameri Populations and Numbers in Europe: A Complete Overview

Liviu G. Pârâu1, 2, *, Diederik Strubbe3, 4, Emiliano Mori5, Mattia Menchetti6, Leonardo Ancillotto7, André van Kleunen8, Rachel L. White9, Álvaro Luna10, Dailos Hernández-Brito10, Marine Le Louarn11, 12, Philippe Clergeau11, Tamer Albayrak13, Detlev Franz14, Michael P. Braun1, Julia Schroeder2, 15, Michael Wink1, *
1 Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology, Department Biology, Heidelberg University, Im Neuenheimer Feld 364, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
2 Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, 82319 Seewiesen, Germany
3 Evolutionary Ecology Group, Department of Biology, University of Antwerp, 2020 Antwerp, Belgium
4 Terrestrial Ecology Unit, Ghent University, Ledeganckstraat 35, 9000 Gent, Belgium
5 Di.S.A.F.A., Entomology and Zoology, University of Turin, Largo Paolo Braccini, 2, 10095 Grugliasco, Turin, Italy
6 Department of Biology, University of Florence, Via Madonna del Piano 6, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Florence, Italy
7 Wildlife Research Unit, Dipartimento di Agraria, Laboratorio di Ecologia Applicata, University of Naples "Federico II", Portici, Naples, Italy
8 Sovon Dutch Center for Field Ornithology, Toernooiveld 1, 6525 ED Nijmegen, Netherlands
9 School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, University of Brighton, BN2 4GJ, Brighton, United Kingdom
10 Department of Conservation Biology, Estación Biológica de Doñana, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Seville, Spain
11 Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Département EGB, UMR CESCO, 55 rue Buffon, 75005 Paris, France
12 Laboratoire Population Environnement Développement - UMR 151, Aix Marseille Université - IRD, 13331 Marseille, France
13 Ornithology Lab, Department of Biology, Mehmet Akif Ersoy University, Istiklal Yerleskesi, 15030 Burdur, Turkey
14 Bruchstraße 15, 55263 Wackernheim, Germany
15 Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, Silwood Park Campus, Buckhurst Road, SL5 7PY Ascot, Berks, United Kingdom

© Pârâu et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

Correspondence: * Address correspondence to these authors at the Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology, Department Biology, Heidelberg University, Im Neuenheimer Feld 364, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany; Tel: 0049-6221-54-4881; Fax: 0049-6221-54-4884; E-mails:;



Alien species are one of the major causes contributing to biodiversity loss. In Europe, over 340 alien bird species have been recorded in the wild, of which 74 are established. Among 12 established alien parrot species in Europe, the Rose-ringed Parakeet (RRP) Psittacula krameri is the most abundant and widespread.


Although one of the best documented alien vertebrates in Europe, historical and current datasets on RRP invasion success and demography have not been systematically collated and analysed. This paper therefore aims to bring together, verify and make available this information.


Existing distribution and demographic data for the RRP in Europe were collated from the following sources: (a) literature search; (b) bird sighting databases; (c) regional bird experts; (d) RRP roost counts. With this data, we evaluated population size and growth per population, country and the whole of Europe in the period 1965-2015.


The RRP is well established in Europe with at least 90 breeding populations in 10 countries, and a total population size of at least 85,000 birds as of 2015. For Western Europe, long-term demographic data indicate the species has grown considerably in number, although some populations have failed to persist. Data is scarce for countries in Central, Eastern and Northern Europe.


Our synthesis reveals a positive demographic trend across Europe, although locally, some populations appear to have reached carrying capacity. Further research is needed to understand the mechanisms underlying RRP population growth in Europe, and methods amenable to citizen-scientists are urgently required to monitor population and range dynamics.

Keywords: Demography, Europe, Invasive alien species, Parrots, Population, Psittaciformes.