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       For all that I campaign against invasive exotic species, I cannot
muster anything but pleasure with the establishment of potential breeding
populations of psittacids that are being harried into extinction in their
native lands. They are extraordinary beasts, social, intelligent in the
extreme (many of the habits humans consider obnoxious are exactly human
behaviours, and possibly of extremely ancient lineage). I do not know of any
member of the family, including the much maligned monk parakeet, that is
displacing any native bird species. But humans are displacing them with
development, killing them as "agricultural pests," or collecting them for the
exotic animal trade (do 10% survive the ordeal?).
       Can we welcome these incredibly complex and beautiful creatures into
the landscapes we have prepared for them by destroying Florida's natural
plant communitie? Perhaps in the future, they might provide a slim hope for
restoration to their ancestral lands. Slim, because they must learn the
business of being who they are in the place they are, but not impossible,
because they are making do here.
       Disclaimer: Three years ago after much, and maybe not enough,
soul-searching, I adopted at great expense, a parrot. An African grey. O, my.

       I am off my soapbox now.

Judith Buhrman
Seminole FL
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