Orange-fronted parakeets on Maud Island

Department of Conservation —  06/05/2014

By Megan Farley, Ranger (Biodiversity Services) in Rangiora.

The orange-fronted parakeet (kākāriki karaka) is arguably New Zealand’s most threatened endemic forest bird species.

During a recent stint in the field, the orange-fronted parakeet team spent four days monitoring the population of parakeets that have been released on Maud Island in the Marlborough Sounds

Young orange-fronted parakeet on Maud Island. Photo: Megan Farley.

Young orange-fronted parakeet on Maud Island

Maud Island has had a few issues for the parakeet population, due to a pair of falcon (kārearea) attacking fledging chicks, a lack of nesting sites, and a lack of water and food sources.

Maud Island.

Maud Island

Despite these setbacks a flock of eight orange fronted parakeets were found during this trip, all feeding together on olearia flowers (tree daisies) and bathing in the nearby stream.

Mature male orange-fronted parakeet. Photo Andrew Legault.

Mature male orange-fronted parakeet from one of the first releases onto Maud Island in 2007

Of the individual parakeets that were found, three were original birds released onto the island over six years ago, while five were birds that had hatched on the island.

Find more information on the orange-fronted parakeet on the DOC website or by liking Team OFP on Facebook.

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