Italian red squirrels and introduced parakeets: victims or perpetrators?
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Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita, Università degli Studi di Siena, Siena
Dipartimento di Biologia e Biotecnologie ‘‘Charles Darwin’’, Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”, Roma
Dipartimento di Biologia, Università di Firenze, Sesto Fiorentino (Fi)
Dipartimento di Biologia, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milano
Dipartimento di Patologia Animale, Igiene e Sanità Pubblica Veterinaria, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milano
Publication date: 2013-09-12
Hystrix It. J. Mamm. 2013;24(2):195–196
This paper deals with the first records of interactions between Italian red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris italicus) and introduced parakeets. We observed two nest predations exerted by red squirrels upon rose-ringed parakeet (Psittacula krameri) chicks in Latium, while an adult Barraband’s parakeet (Polytelis swainsonii) was responsible for the death of an adult squirrel in Southern Tuscany. To assess the extent of the impact of these alien birds on the conservation of the endemic squirrel populations, further research is needed. These observations highlight the complex interactions that may arise between alien and native species, supporting that active monitoring and management of introduced populations should be a priority.