The ring-necked parakeet invaded southern Israel and competes with indigenous cavity-nesting species for nest sites. However, the parakeet can also excavate its own cavities, providing other birds with breeding places, so the final impact on native avifauna is questionable. We studied the effect of the ring-necked parakeet on the indigenous Eurasian hoopoe for 10 years, from 2000 to 2009. The parakeet colonized two palmeries (in 2002 and 2006) with the highest densities of the hoopoe while two remaining palmeries remained unsettled by the parakeet during the study period, and were therefore used as control plots in our study. During the study period, in the unsettled palmeries, the breeding density of the hoopoe did not change while in palmeries colonized by the parakeet, the density of the hoopoe declined significantly. Moreover, the palmery originally hosting the highest density of the hoopoe had the lowest density of this species after the invasion of the parakeet. The results suggest a negative impact of the invasive ring-necked parakeet on the indigenous Eurasian hoopoe, mainly through the aggressive takeover of cavities by parakeets. Expected land-use changes in the region will most probably result in further expansion of the ring-necked parakeet.
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Vol. 53 • No. 5–6