The Red-whiskered Bulbul Pycnonotus jocosus naturally occurs from the Indian subcontinent to the northern Malay Peninsula. Its anthropogenic spread also encompasses Australia, Japan, the southern Malay Peninsula, Singapore, Florida, California, 11 islands in the Indian Ocean, and Oahu, Hawaii. The earliest known introduction occurred in Sydney in 1865, with subsequent releases in the 1900's leading to establishment. It was first released in Melbourne, Victoria in 1915, with a population establishing in the late 1950's. Sightings have been reported in Coffs Harbour since 1972, forming a population in the Northern Rivers region. There has also been a small population in Mackay, Queensland since 1983. Red-whiskered Bulbuls had been recorded in South Australia between the 1940's and 1980's, but did not proliferate and are no longer present. The main ecological impact identified is the dispersal of exotic weeds, although evidence in Australia remains anecdotal. There has also been preliminary evidence of interspecific competition on islands and predation of nestlings. While aesthetically appreciated and a predator of some invertebrate pests, it causes crop failure in soft-fruit and citrus orchards and damage to garden plants. Impacts should be further investigated to justify management directions. Eradication in Australia may be achievable due to populations being mostly restricted to settled areas.
The Red-whiskered Bulbul Pycnonotus jocosus in Australia – a global perspective, history of introduction, current status and potential impacts
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Matthew Mo; The Red-whiskered Bulbul Pycnonotus jocosus in Australia – a global perspective, history of introduction, current status and potential impacts. Australian Zoologist 1 September 2015; 37 (4): 461–471. doi: https://doi.org/10.7882/AZ.2015.014
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