Istanbul home to Afro-Asian parrot species

Istanbul home to Afro-Asian parrot species

ISTANBUL - Doğan News Agency
Istanbul home to Afro-Asian parrot species

The parakeets are mostly seen in green neighborhoods in Istanbul. EPA photo

The number of “Psittacula” ringed-necked parakeets is increasing every day in Istanbul. The parakeets, which were first brought to Istanbul by animal sellers and are said to have settled in the city after escaping from their cages, have acclimatized to the local climate and can mostly be seen in green neighborhoods such as Sultanahmet, Yeşilköy and Florya.

The Psittacula parakeets have been spotted in Istanbul trees for two decades, with officials saying that this type of parakeet has existed in Istanbul since 1992.

The best known urban legend about how they came to the city is that a flock of them escaped from their cages at Atatürk Airport.

The ring-necked parakeet is a tropical Afro-Asian species that has an extremely large range. Since the population trend appears to be increasing, the species was evaluated as being of “Least Concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 2009.

This non-migrating species is one of few parrot species that have adapted to living in disturbed habitats, and have thus been able to withstand the onslaught of urbanization and deforestation.