T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Parakeet (Orange fronted) Cyanoramphus malherbi

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Psittaciformes
Superfamily: Psittacoidea
Family: Psittaculidae
Subfamily: Platycercinae
Tribe: Platycercini
Genus: Cyanoramphus
Species: C. malherbi
Binomial name: Cyanoramphus malherbi
Common name: Orange fronted parakeet, Malherbe's parakeet, Käkäriki

Cyanoramphus malherbi is a small, rare parrot endemic to New Zealand. It is a medium size parrot approximately 20 centimeters long. Its body is primarily a bright blue-green, with azure blue primary covert and leading edge feathers on its wings. It has a distinctive orange frontal band on its yellow crown, but this is absent in juvenile birds which has a fully green head. The orange frontal band begins to develop when the bird is 2–5 weeks old. Its rump has orange patches on the sides.

The species is found in only three regions on New Zealand’s South Island: the South Branch Hurunui River valley, Hawdon River valley and the Poulter valley. In addition, there are four translocated island populations found on Maud Island, Blumine Island, Chalky Island, and Tuhua Island. On the South Island, the parakeet is predominantly found only in Nothofagus/ Fuscospora (beech) forest with some reports of them being found in alpine and subalpine tussock and open matagouri shrubland.
The Orange-fronted parakeet typically feeds in the canopy of beech trees, but will also forage in low vegetation and on the ground. They are typically observed feeding in flocks of mixed species, eating various seeds, beech flowers, buds and invertebrates.

The monogamous Orange-fronted parakeet is able to nest year round, but the peak breading period is between December and April. They primary nest in natural hollows or cavities of mature beech trees, preferring the red beech (Fuscospora fusca). On Maud Island they were found to nest in Pinus radiata forests.
Clutch sizes are around 7 eggs with an incubation period of 21–26 days. The female exclusively incubates the eggs and the male feeds her. Nestlings fledge between 43 and 71 days, but then remain dependent for 2–4 weeks.

The Orange-fronted Parakeet was classified as Nationally Endangered by the New Zealand Department of Conservation in 2012[16] and Critically Endangered by the IUCN.[17]. 
Prior to 2000, the parrot’s population numbered in the hundreds on the South Island, but the population fell from 500-700 individuals to an estimated 100-200 by 2004 due to significant increases in rat and stoat populations. A rat plague during 2001 was a major contributor to this decline. Deer and possums are also contributing to their decline through habitat modification. Possums also prey nestlings and eggs. (Text thanks to Wikipedia)

 

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/