Twenty-three new parakeets have bolstered a Canterbury population of the rare birds.
Entries in Cyanoramphus malherbi - Orange-fronted parakeet (13)
Eighteen rare native parakeets are today winging their way from Christchurch to a Bay of Plenty island sanctuary to build a self-supporting population there as this species faces the ongoing threat of predators in Canterbury.
Seventeen critically endangered native parakeets have been transported from the South Island to predator free Tūhua / Mayor Island, in the Bay of Plenty, to keep them safe from a predicted plague of predators in the beech forests where these rare native birds live. The orange-fronted parakeets/kākāriki karaka were once common throughout New Zealand but have been brought to the brink of extinction by introduced predators - particularly stoats and rats. It’s estimated there are only around 200 kākāriki karaka left in three areas of alpine forest in the South Island. These last remaining natural populations are in the Hawdon and Poulter valleys in Arthur’s Pass National Park and the south branch of the Hurunui valley in Lake Sumner Forest Park in North Canterbury.
Photographing the endangered orange-fronted parakeets will be easier for Massey University researchers with the awarding of $5000 in Canon products from this year’s Canon Environmental Grants programme.