As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday 17 January 2018

This bird is as threatened as the black robin, but few New Zealanders know it

The orange-fronted parakeet is classified as nationally critical. Between 150 and 200 breeding adults remain.

They're as threatened as the black robin, and more at risk of extinction than any kiwi – but very few people know what the orange-fronted parakeet is. GED CANN looks at this forgotten species.

Once upon a time they were so numerous their feathers would be used to stuff pillows, and residents would shoot them off the roof of Canterbury Museum. Now there are only 150-200 adult orange-fronted parakeet left.

The beech masts which once fuelled this boom-and-bust species now encourage the rats and stoats that prey on them, which has led to DOC's prediction that the population will decline by up to 70 per cent within 10 years, or three generations, whichever is longest.


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