Invader birds

The provincial government, with a display of common sense that is unusual among local institutions, has called representatives of all the town halls affected by the growing plague of an invasive species of parakeet to a meeting to compare notes on causes, consequences and possible solutions. Technical advice will be sought from Malaga’s University’s top specialist on these matters, biologist and ornithologist Antonio Román Muñoz; as well as from a specialist from the Environment ministry at the Junta de Andalucía.
For the first time since this flying phenomenon invaded our treetops, politicians and experts are going to sit down to talk about what can be done to control the spread of these birds.
There is just one obstacle left: for whatever is scientifically agreed upon, to actually be carried out. Why do I say that? Because I fear that a weak mayor could break under the pressure from misunderstanding animal activists and ecologists, those who have been swayed by the colours, the cawing and the Caribbean image that these birds have brought with them; it might be very bright and cheerful for a while, but ask the residents who have to put up with them day after day. And that’s all without mentioning the spread of disease and the financial risk if they get as far as farmers’ crops as researchers predict. So while the spirit of the initiative is positive, the problem here is, as in many other matters, that politics is put before scientific criteria, or that urgent measures are ignored to pacify indignant protest.
Underneath their pretty and cartoon-like façade, these birds are a serious environmental threat. If the plague is permitted now, it will spread and start to damage crops and other financial resources and infrastructure in the province; then the solution will be more expensive, and, what’s worse, much less animal-friendly.