Spain’s got a real parakeet situation, and environmental experts are saying that snipers are the best remedy.
According to The Telegraph, parakeets have been dubbed an invasive species in both Spain and the UK after pet birds introduced in the 1970s flourished in the wild. One Spanish city, Malaga, has been overrun with 30,000 monk parakeets, prompting experts at a recent environmental forum to suggest snipers for pest control:
Dailos Hernández-Brito, researcher at the Biological Station of Doñana, the Andalusian national park that is considered Europe’s largest nature reserve, said that affected areas were now considering two options: trapping and extermination through shooting.
The birds are a threat to agriculture, their screeching is bothering the locals, and “the risk of large nests falling from trees are also a problem in urban areas.” Not to mention the fact that the birds carry psittacosis, or parrot fever, a disease that affects the lungs.
While trapping the birds is also an option, Hernández-Brito says simply shooting them is quicker and “more flexible.”
Hiring bird snipers has been suggested in other parts of Spain, but plans were, ahem, shot down, amid protests from animal activists. In July, the town attempted to throw more birds at the problem by introducing Peregrine falcons.