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.