Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Kakariki or New Zealand Parakeets are three species of parakeet in the genus Cyanoramphus, family Psittacidae. The birds' Maori name, which is the most commonly used, means "green", in reference to their predominant colour.
The three species are the Yellow-crowned Parakeet Cyanoramphus auriceps, the Orange-fronted Parakeet C. malherbi and the Red-crowned Parakeet or Red-fronted Parakeet, C. novaezelandiae. All are native to New Zealand, and have become endangered as a result of habitat destruction following European settlement and nest predation by introduced species of mammal. They have survived on outlying islands, and also through breeding in captivity since they make good pets. A licence from the New Zealand Department of Conservation is now required to breed them in captivity.
Mitochondrial DNA analysis has indicated that the Orange-fronted Parakeet is a separate species and not just a colour variation of the Yellow-crowned Parakeet. The Orange-fronted Parakeet is highly endangered, with less than 200 individuals remaining in the North Canterbury region of the South Island.
The Chatham Island Yellow-crowned Parakeet is regarded as a subspecies of the Yellow-crowned Parakeet and classified as C. auriceps forbesi. Some authors, however, treat it as a full species, C. forbesi.
There are two subspecies of the Red-crowned Parakeet, the Kermadec Parakeet cyanurus and the Chatham Island Red-crowned Parakeet chathamensis.
Other species in the genus Cyanoramphus are
- Antipodes Island Parakeet C. unicolor and
- Black-fronted Parakeet C. zelandicus (extinct)
- Macquarie Island Red-crowned Parakeet C. erythrotis (extinct)
- Reischek's Parakeet C. erythrotis hochstetteri
- New Caledonia Red-crowned Parakeet C. saisetti
- Norfolk Island Parakeet C. cooki (classified by some as a subspecies of C. zelandiae).
- Society Parakeet C. ulietanus (extinct)
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