Yellow-crowned parakeet

The yellow-crowned parakeet (Cyanoramphus auriceps) is a species of parakeet endemic to the islands of New Zealand. The species is found across the main three islands of New Zealand, North Island, South Island and Stewart Island/Rakiura, as well as on the subantarctic Auckland Islands. It has declined due to predation from introduced species such as stoats, although unlike the red-crowned parakeet, it has not been extirpated from the mainland of New Zealand. Its Māori name is kākāriki.

Yellow-crowned parakeet
In captivity
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Psittaculidae
Genus: Cyanoramphus
C. auriceps
Binomial name
Cyanoramphus auriceps
(Kuhl, 1820)


The yellow-crowned parakeet was once widely distributed across all of New Zealand, both the main islands and the outlying ones. However, due to both the aforementioned introduced mammals and human destruction of habitat, these parakeets have become much scarcer in the last few decades. While uncommon, they are still the most common parakeet in New Zealand.


This species was first described by Heinrich Kuhl in 1820 and originally named Psittacus auriceps.[2]


Yellow-crowned Parakeet
Yellow-crowned parakeet near Lake Matheson, New Zealand

Yellow-crowned parakeets are 23 cm long and primarily bright green. They have a red band fronting their eponymous golden crown. Their wings, when spread in flight, are bluish purple. Their eyes are either orange or red and their bill is grey.

The males of this species are larger than the females. The females can also be distinguished from males as their bills are disproportionally smaller.[3]

Range and habitat

Yellow-crowned parakeets prefer the upper canopies of tall, unbroken stub and forest, though they have been observed at high-altitude tussock meadows and on some of the subantarctic islands. A notably favoured habitat is mixed podocarp/nothofagus forest.[4] The preference of C. auriceps for the upper canopies may have placed it at an advantage in comparison to the red-crowned parakeet, as it likely reduced the risk from predators.[5]

These parakeets are endemic to New Zealand and range across the main islands, as well as Ewing Island in the Auckland Islands. This is the world's most southern observed location of Cyanoramphus, and the second-southernmost location of living parrots.[4]


Yellow-crowned parakeets subsist on the seeds of beech, flax, and tussock, but also eat fruits, flowers, leaves, shoots, and invertebrates.[4]


These birds build nests in crevices, burrows, and trunks of trees depending on the habitat. Their eggs are white.[4]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Cyanoramphus auriceps". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ Kuhl, Heinrich (1820). Conspectus Psittacorum. Bonn. p. 46. doi:10.5962/bhl.title.53420. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  3. ^ Elliott, Graeme P.; Dilks, Peter J.; O'Donnell, Colin F.J. (January 1996). "The ecology of yellow‐crowned parakeets (Cyanoramphus auriceps) in Nothofagus forest in Fiordland, New Zealand". New Zealand Journal of Zoology. 23 (3): 249–265. doi:10.1080/03014223.1996.9518084. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d "Yellow-crowned parakeet". TerraNature Trust. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  5. ^ Kearvell, Jonathan C.; Young, James R.; Grant, Andrew D. (2002). "Comparative ecology of sympatric orange-fronted parakeets (Cyanoramphus malherbi) and yellow-crowned parakeets (C. auriceps), South Island, New Zealand" (PDF). New Zealand Journal of Ecology. 26 (2): 139–148. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
Auckland Islands

The Auckland Islands (Māori: Motu Maha or Maungahuka) are an archipelago of New Zealand, lying 465 kilometres (290 mi) south of the South Island. The main Auckland Island, occupying 510 km2 (200 sq mi), is surrounded by smaller Adams Island, Enderby Island, Disappointment Island, Ewing Island, Rose Island, Dundas Island, and Green Island, with a combined area of 625 km2 (240 sq mi). The islands have no permanent human inhabitants.

The islands are listed with the New Zealand Outlying Islands. The islands are an immediate part of New Zealand, but not part of any region or district, but instead Area Outside Territorial Authority, like all the other outlying islands except the Solander Islands.

Ecologically, the Auckland Islands form part of the Antipodes Subantarctic Islands tundra ecoregion. Along with other New Zealand Sub-Antarctic Islands, they were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998.

Broad-tailed parrot

A broad-tailed parrot is any of about 35–40 species belonging to the tribe Platycercini. The members of the tribe are small to medium in size, and all are native to Australasia, Australia in particular, but also New Zealand, New Caledonia, and nearby islands.

Chatham parakeet

The Chatham parakeet (Cyanoramphus forbesi), also known as Forbes' parakeet, is a rare parakeet endemic to the Chatham Islands group, New Zealand. This parakeet is one of New Zealand’s rarest birds and is classified as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, as a result of a range of threats to the species survival, including habitat loss, predation, and hybridization. A number of conservation methods have been employed to assist the recovery of this species, and currently the population trend is considered stable.

Codfish Island

Codfish Island or Whenua Hou is a small island (14 km2 or 5.4 sq mi) located to the west of Stewart Island/Rakiura in southern New Zealand. It reaches a height of 250 m (820 ft) close to the south coast.

The English name refers to the endemic blue cod or rawaru / pakirikiri, which is fished commercially in surrounding waters by trapping in baited pots. Whenua Hou means "new land" in Maori. Codfish Island is home to Sirocco, an internationally famous kakapo, a rare species of parrot.


Cyanoramphus is a genus of parakeets native to New Zealand and islands of the southern Pacific Ocean. The New Zealand forms are often referred to as kākāriki. They are small to medium-sized parakeets with long tails and predominately green plumage. Most species are forest species, although several of the subantarctic species live in open grassland. The genus formerly had a disjunct distribution, with two species found in the Society Islands and the majority of the genus ranging from New Caledonia to Macquarie Island, but absent from the 4100 km in between. Despite many fossil birds being found in the islands between these two areas being found none of these were of undescribed Cyanoramphus species.Like many other species of birds the Cyanoramphus parakeets have suffered from changes brought about by humans. The two species from the Society Islands, the black-fronted parakeet and the Society parakeet, have become extinct as have the subspecies from Lord Howe Island and Macquarie Island, as well as an undescribed form from Campbell Island. One species, the Malherbe's parakeet (C. malherbi), is critically endangered while most other species are endangered or vulnerable. Habitat loss and introduced species are considered responsible for the declines and extinctions.

DNA virus

A DNA virus is a virus that has DNA as its genetic material and replicates using a DNA-dependent DNA polymerase. The nucleic acid is usually double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) but may also be single-stranded DNA (ssDNA). DNA viruses belong to either Group I or Group II of the Baltimore classification system for viruses. Single-stranded DNA is usually expanded to double-stranded in infected cells. Although Group VII viruses such as hepatitis B contain a DNA genome, they are not considered DNA viruses according to the Baltimore classification, but rather reverse transcribing viruses because they replicate through an RNA intermediate. Notable diseases like smallpox, herpes, and the chickenpox are caused by such DNA viruses.

Hump Ridge Track

The Hump Ridge Track (sometimes called the Tuatapere Humpridge Track) is located in the south east of Fiordland National Park, in the South Island of New Zealand. The track is about 61 km in distance and is based in Waitutu Forest (part of Fiordland National Park).

About 1800 walkers complete the track each year. The closest town is Tuatapere, although people often stay in Te Anau and opt to drive south the morning of beginning the track. The track was established in November 2001, with the initial cost for the project at $3,950,000 NZD. The track crosses Māori land and much privately owned land. The Tuatapere Hump Track Trust owns two lodges and over 20 km of board walk, although the Department of Conservation maintains the track along the coast and the Port Craig School Hut.


The three species of kākāriki (also spelled kakariki, without the macrons) or New Zealand parakeets are the most common species of parakeets in the genus Cyanoramphus, family Psittacidae. The birds' Māori name, which is the most commonly used, means "small parrot". The etymology is: from kākā, parrot + riki, small. The word is also used to refer to the colour green because of the birds' predominantly green plumage. The patches of red on the birds' rumps are, according to legend, the blood of the demigod Tāwhaki.

The three species on mainland New Zealand are the yellow-crowned parakeet (Cyanoramphus auriceps), the red-crowned parakeet, or red-fronted parakeet (C. novaezelandiae), and the critically endangered Malherbe's parakeet or orange-fronted parakeet (not to be confused with Aratinga canicularis a popular aviary bird known as the orange-fronted conure, orange-fronted parakeet or half-moon conure - C. malherbi).

List of endemic birds of New Zealand

Many of New Zealand's birds are endemic to the country, that is, they are not found in any other country. Endemic species differ from native or indigenous species in that native or indigenous species have generally and historically, migrated to a region or country and become established over a long period of time, whereas endemic species, have only ever inhabited the region or country where they were first discovered. Approximately 71% of the bird species breeding in New Zealand before humans arrived are widely accepted as being endemic.Population status symbols are those of the Red List published by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The symbols and their meanings, in increasing order of peril, are:

LC = least concern

NT = near threatened

VU = vulnerable

EN = endangered

CR = critically endangered

EX = extinct

List of near threatened birds

As of September 2016, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists 971 near threatened avian species. 9.3% of all evaluated avian species are listed as near threatened.

No subpopulations of birds have been evaluated by the IUCN.

This is a complete list of near threatened avian species evaluated by the IUCN. Where possible common names for taxa are given while links point to the scientific name used by the IUCN.

Malherbe's parakeet

Malherbe's parakeet (Cyanoramphus malherbi), usually known as the orange-fronted parakeet or in Māori, kākāriki karaka, is a small parrot endemic to New Zealand. In New Zealand it is always known as the orange-fronted parakeet, a name it shares with a species from Central America, while in the rest of the world it is known as Malherbe's parakeet. Restricted to a few valleys in the South Island and four offshore islands, its population declined to around 200 in the 1990s, and it is now considered critically endangered.

Mana Island (New Zealand)

Mana Island is the smaller of two islands that lie off the southwest coast of the North Island of New Zealand (the larger is Kapiti Island). The name of the Island is an abbreviation of Te Mana o Kupe in Maori, which means "The Mana of Kupe".

Mana Island is a 3 km (1.9 mi) long, 2.17 km2 (0.84 sq mi) table, with cliffs along much of its coast and a plateau occupying much of the interior. It lies 3 km (1.9 mi) off the North Island coast in the Tasman Sea, west of the city of Porirua and south of the entrance to Porirua Harbour. In 2009, it was selected by the Global Restoration Network as one of the New Zealand's top 25 sites for ecological restoration.

Parrots of New Zealand

New Zealand is geographically isolated, and originally lacked any mammalian predators, hence parrots evolved to fill habitats from the ground dwelling kākāpō to the alpine dwelling kea as well as a variety of forest species. The arrival of Māori, then European settlers with their attendant animals, habitat destruction and even deliberate targeting, has resulted in their numbers plummeting. Today one species is on the brink of extinction and three other species range from vulnerable to critically endangered. Further parrot species were not introduced by acclimatisation societies, but occasion releases, both deliberate and accidental, have resulted in self-sustaining populations of some Australian species.

Pigeon Island (New Zealand)

Pigeon Island (Wāwāhi Waka) is located in at the northern end of Lake Wakatipu in New Zealand near the township of Glenorchy. It is 170 hectares in size and is the largest island in the lake. In 1884, during Queen Victoria's reign, it was gifted by the Crown as a reserve to the people of Queenstown district for their use and enjoyment.There are several walking tracks around the island which makes it easy to navigate to most parts of the island.

Because its proximity to the lake creates a mild climate it is the only place in the Wakatipu Basin in which naturally occurring Kahikatea can be found.


Platycercinae is a subfamily of birds belonging to the Psittaculidae family that inhabit Oceania. Consists of two tribes, the ground parrots and allies (Pezoporini) and the many species of broad-tailed parrot (Platycercini).

Red-crowned parakeet

The red-crowned parakeet or red-fronted parakeet (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae), also widely known by its Māori name of kākāriki, is a small parrot from New Zealand. It is characterised by its bright green plumage and the red pattern on its head. This versatile bird can feed on a variety food items and can be found in many habitat types. It used to be classified as near threatened as invasive predators had pushed it out of its historical range but it is now at least concern. This species that used to occupy the whole country is now confined to only a few areas on the mainland and some offshore islands.

Routeburn Track

The Routeburn Track is a world-renowned, 32 km tramping (hiking) track found in the South Island of New Zealand. The track is usually completed by starting on the Queenstown side of the Southern Alps, at the northern end of Lake Wakatipu, and finishing on the Te Anau side, at the Divide, several kilometres from the Homer Tunnel to Milford Sound.

The New Zealand Department of Conservation classifies this track as a Great Walk and maintains four huts along the track: Routeburn Flats Hut, Routeburn Falls Hut, Lake Mackenzie Hut, and Lake Howden Hut; in addition there is an emergency shelter at Harris Saddle. The track overlaps two National Parks; the Mount Aspiring National Park and Fiordland National Parks with the border and highest point being the Harris Saddle. Access to another tramping area called the Greenstone and Caples Tracks is from Lake Howden Hut near The Divide.

This area gets much less rain than the Milford Sound, and the forests are very different, especially on the eastern side of the saddle, which due to less rainfall is predominantly made up of New Zealand red beech and mountain beech, with relatively few ferns. The track spends a long time on the high ridges around Harris Saddle, with great long-distance views in many directions. The track has a long history of use dating back to the 1880s.


The stoat (Mustela erminea), also known as the short-tailed weasel or simply the weasel in Ireland where the least weasel does not occur, is a mammal of the genus Mustela of the family Mustelidae native to Eurasia and North America, distinguished from the least weasel by its larger size and longer tail with a prominent black tip. Originally from Eurasia, it crossed into North America some 500,000 years ago, where it naturalized and joined the notably larger, closely related native long-tailed weasel.

The name "ermine" is used for any species in the genus Mustela, especially the stoat, in its pure white winter coat, or the fur thereof. In the late 19th century, stoats were introduced into New Zealand to control rabbits, where they have had a devastating effect on native bird populations.

The stoat is classed by the IUCN as least concern, due to its wide circumpolar distribution, and because it does not face any significant threat to its survival. It was nominated as one of the world's top 100 "worst invaders".Ermine luxury fur was used in the 15th century by Catholic monarchs, who sometimes used it as the mozzetta cape. It was also used in capes on images such as the Infant Jesus of Prague.

Victoria Forest Park

Victoria Forest Park, is situated on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand. At 2,069 square kilometres (799 sq mi) it is New Zealand's largest forest park. The park is administered by the Department of Conservation (DOC).The park is made up of pristine beech forest and includes all five species of beech found in new Zealand - red, silver, mountain, black and hard beech. The park includes the Inangahua, Maruia and Grey Rivers, and the Victoria and Brunner Ranges. Reefton is the main town in the area and is located on the South Western edge of the park. Reefton was once a coal and gold mining town and as such, old mining equipment can still be found in the Park

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