At long last, the paper on the population of European Goldfinches in the western Great Lakes region is complete, and has been submitted to the journal NeoBiota. In the paper, my collaborator Nick Anich of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and I covered a brief history of the times and places where this species has been introduced around the world, and their distribution in North America over the past 20 years. Focusing on the western Great Lakes region, we describe where they are successfully nesting, where they may have come from (both countries of origin and domestic importers), and some additional information on nesting ecology, natural foods, potential impacts, and suggestions for future monitoring.
The manuscript still has to go through peer-review, but the preprint is available at the publisher's website. Here is the abstract:
Monitoring introduced species is important because of possible effects on native species and ecosystems. Here, we report on European Goldfinch observations from North America between 2001–2021, focusing on a population in the western Great Lakes region. We compiled over 7000 records of European Goldfinches from multiple sources for this time period. Over 3300 records were from the western Great Lakes region. We believe the primary founding event of this population to be release or escape from a cage bird importer in northern Illinois. European Goldfinches were initially reported widely in the region, but over time birds were most consistently reported between Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Chicago, Illinois. They have been breeding in this area continuously since 2003, are currently present in numbers that have established them as part of the local avifauna, and show evidence of a recent increase in numbers. More study is needed on this population of European Goldfinches, including their ecology, their potentially increasing range and population, and an evaluation of the potential for impacts on native ecosystems.
Craves J, Anich N (2022) Status and distribution of an introduced population of European Goldfinches (Carduelis carduelis) in the western Great Lakes region of North America. ARPHA Preprints. https://doi.org/10.3897/arphapreprints.e90813
We acknowledge the many people who contributed or reported observations of European Goldfinches over the years -- thank you!