US 130 blog 3

Invasive species are often overlooked as an environmental threat, yet sometimes the opposite reaction happens and too much time and effort is put into getting rid of them. This is the case of the monk parakeet in Chicago. As a bird native to South America, it is not native to Chicago’s biosphere, yet it is adored by many Chicagoans and is allowed to live in Hyde Park. This raises the question on what non-native species should be ignored, and what species need to be dealt with.

The monk parakeet firs began to be spotted in Chicago in the 1970’s; the monk parakeet is a small parrot with a white belly and a light green back. It is a proficient pest in it’s native range because it eats’ a lot of crops, so Illinois state government was worried the population in Hyde park would become a pest as well. They were stopped from going on an eradication campaign because people liked how the monk parakeet was so colorful a bird in winter, and further study showed that the local population of monk parakeets were not spreading far or eating crops.

This does not mean the monk parakeet is completely harmless, they build large nests of twigs in large colonies on utility poles, making them a fire hazard, workers have to remove any found on utility poles. So while the monk the public may love parakeet, it is still a nuisance to utilities, and so far there is no easy solution.






Gobster, Paul H. “Visions of Nature: Conflict and Compatibility in Urban Park Restoration.” Landscape and Urban Planning 56.1-2 (2001): 35-51. Web.

Schulman, Donna Lynn. “The Parakeet of City Streets, the Monk Parakeet.” 10,000 Birds. 10,000 Birds, 21 July 2014. Web. 30 Mar. 2016.

“Welcome to the University of Chicago Magazine Online.” Welcome to the University of Chicago Magazine Online. University of Chicago, n.d. Web. 30 Mar. 2016.


One thought on “US 130 blog 3

  1. Invasive species like monk parakeet create a great threat to local species and the local biological system. The fast reproduction of foreign species will inevitably consume a lot of local resources, like clean water and grassland. This is a common environment problem, not only in Chicago, or in the US, but around the world. This blog mainly introduces the damage of species invasion, taking the monk parakeet in the 1970s as an example. However, more focus should be paid on how to solve this problem because it is not easy to distinguish and control. The government can try to eliminate any foreign species. However, not all foreign species are dangerous and harmful. Wheat, maize, and corn were introduced to many countries centuries ago to raise more and more people. The suitable introduction of species could diversify the local food chain, but unsuitable introduction could cause huge economic and biological losses. It is not necessary to deny all foreign species. But foreign species’ possible negative influence must be warned and carefully checked.


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