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 Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae

This taxon is Not Recognised as a species by BirdLife International.

Taxonomic source(s)
Boon, W. M.; Daugherty, C. H.; Chambers, G. K. 2001. The Norfolk Island Green Parrot and New Caledonian Red-crowned Parakeet are distinct species. Emu 101: 113-121.
Christidis, L.; Boles, W. E. 2008. Systematics and taxonomy of Australian birds. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.

Taxonomic note
Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was previously split as C. novaezelandiae, C. cookii (following Christidis and Boles 1994 and Turbott 1990), and C. saisseti (following Boon et al. 2001), and before then C. saisseti was lumped with C. novaezelandiae, with C. cookii treated as a separate species, following Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993).

Distribution and population
Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae is known from New Zealand, where it was historically extremely abundant on the mainland but is now effectively extinct (recent records are now believed to be cage escapes/releases or vagrants from offshore island populations). Populations currently exist on the Kermadec islands, Three Kings, some Hauraki Gulf islands, Kapiti Island, Stewart Island and surrounding islands, Chatham Islands, Snares, Antipodes Islands, and as a hybrid swarm (with Yellow-crowned Parakeet C. auriceps) on Auckland Islands. The races from Lord Howe Island (subflavescens) and Macquarie Island (erythrotis) went extinct at the end of the 19th century (Hindwood 1940, Taylor 1979). Past population estimates suggest the total population was in excess of 20,000 individuals, but historically the island populations were part of an effectively panmictic population. When the mainland linking populations became extinct, the island populations became isolated, and their effective population sizes are now much reduced. Declines are likely to be taking place on Stewart Island (by inference from measured declines of other species, owing to rat and cat predation), although any decline has been minimal (G. Harper in litt. 2005).

It occurs in a wide variety of habitats, including dense temperate rainforests, coastal forest, scrubland, forest edges and open areas. It usually only breeds in native vegetation, preferring larger trees, particularly Metrosideros, Vitex, Nothofagus, Olearia and Plagianthus. It nests in hollow limbs, holes or stumps of trees, but will also use holes in cliffs, holes or burrows in the ground, and holes and tunnels in tussocks, particularly where there are no trees or trees are small. It is omnivorous, feeding mainly on plant material but also on invertebrates, and will occasionally scavenge animal carrion. It prefers to feed in the canopy, but in open habitats feeds on the ground. Birds regularly move between islets in island groups, and can cross wide expanses of sea.

The species is adversely affected by forestry operations: clear-felling and burning have drastically reduced available habitat, and selective logging may reduce the number of trees with suitable nesting holes and foraging opportunities. Irruptions in the 19th century may have been caused by increased cultivation of crops by European settlers. It was hunted for food by Maori, and was formerly persecuted because birds damaged crops and gardens. It may suffer through competition for food or breeding sites with introduced species (such as the Common Myna Acridotheres tristis, Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris, Eastern Rosella Platycercus eximius, Crimson Rosella P. elegans, common brushtail possums Trichosurus vulpecula and honey bees Apis mellifera). Introduced predators such as cats, rats and stoats may also impact the species. An outbreak of beak-and-feather disease has been confirmed in the population on Little Barrier Island. This has the potential to cause significant mortality, although effects on the C. novaezelandiae population have not yet been studied (Ortiz-Catedral et al. 2009).

Conservation Actions Underway
There have been efforts to aid the recovery of the species, including the eradication of predators and translocation of founding populations to islands free of predators (Catedral and Brunton 2006). In 2004, a research project was initiated on Tiritiri Matangi Island to investigate the reproductive biology of the species and improve conservation practices (Catedral and Brunton 2006). The island also provides a place for education and public awareness campaigns. Conservation Actions Proposed
Preserve areas of habitat important to remaining populations. Carry out research to determine the current population size and trends. Conduct research into the impact of introduced predators on populations. Carry out control measures on introduced predators, if appropriate.

Boon, W. M.; Kearvell, J. C.; Daugherty, C. H.; Chambers, G. K. 2001. Molecular systematics and conservation of Kakariki (Cyanoramphus spp.).

Catedral, L.O.; Brunton, D. 2006. Advancing the knowledge of New Zealand's Red-crowned Kakariki. PsittaScene 18: 9.

Harper, G. A. 2009. The native forest birds of Stewart Island/Rakiura: patterns of recent declines and extinctions. Notornis 56(2): 63-81.

Higgins, P. J. 1999. Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic birds: parrots to dollarbirds. Oxford University Press, Oxford, U.K.

Hindwood, K. A. 1940. The birds of Lord Howe Island. Emu 40: 1-86.

Ortiz-Catedral, L.; McInnes, K.; Hauber, M. E.; Brunton, D. H. 2009. First report of beak and feather disease virus (BFDV) in wild Red-fronted Parakeets (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae) in New Zealand. Emu 109: 244-247.

Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.

Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1993. A supplement to 'Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world'. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.

Taylor, R. H. 1979. How the Macquarie Island parakeet went extinct. N. Z. J. Ecol. 2(42-45).

Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Harding, M., Khwaja, N., Taylor, J.

Harper, G., Hitchmough, R.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2015) Species factsheet: Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae. Downloaded from on 07/07/2015. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2015) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 07/07/2015.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Red-fronted parakeet (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Not Recognised
Family Psittacidae (Parrots)
Species name author (Sparrman, 1787)