ABSTRACT

Exotic species are common in urban ecosystems, but their effects on native species are often unknown. Monk Parakeets (Myiopsitta monachus) have successfully colonized urban ecosystems across the world. Yet, no study has examined relationships between Monk Parakeets and the avian communities in areas they colonize. The species' recent expansion in Chicago, Illinois, USA and other places makes such a study imperative. We examined avian communities both with and without Monk Parakeets and hypothesized that observed differences between the two community types would be associated with the presence of parakeets. At the community level, we observed no significant differences between areas with and without parakeets, and we found only a few weak differences at the species level. Therefore, we conclude that Monk Parakeets likely are not having a strong influence on urban avian communities, but we cannot rule out effects at smaller scales. Nonetheless, data from this study can serve as a benchmark for measuring potential future changes as the parakeets expand their range.

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