Reunion Parakeet

Reunion Parakeet
Psittacula eques

Cotorra de Mauricio

42 cm.. length and a weight between 167 and 193 g..

Cotorra de Mauricio

The Reunion Parakeet (Psittacula eques) has the Lords and cheeks grass-green, deepening the emerald green upper cheeks, the forecrown and crown; wide swaths shaped mustache on the bottom of the cheeks and chin, fading on the sides of neck; narrow black stripes on the neck lined up with bluish patches on ear-coverts and sides neck and below by pink lines extending back neck, without getting to form an collar full.

Upperparts, including upperwing-coverts, emerald green. Underparts paler and yellowish. Uppertail green; the undertail pale brown.

Upper mandible red, lower negruzca; irises pale yellow to greenish yellow; legs blackish.

The female lacks black moustachial stripes, and the black, pink and blue marks on the sides of neck; dark green tones cheeks with yellowish green at the collar of the back of the neck; Dark (almost black) the upper mandible.

The immature they are like the females, but the fledging bill It is red in both sexes, turning darker in females later.

  • Sound of the Reunion Parakeet.
[audio:HTTPS:// of Mauricio.mp3]

Description 2 subspecies:

  • Psittacula eques eques †

    (Boddaert, 1783) – Nominal. Extinct.

  • Psittacula eques echo

    (Newton,A & Newton,E, 1876) – On the edge of the extinction.


The Reunion Parakeet It is closely linked to the native vegetation. A part of the population is in an area of ​​upland forest containing some of the largest samples, for example, Canarium paniculatum, Syzygium contractum, Mimusops maxima and Labourdonnaisia left in the Mauritius. Scrub forests lower level are also important, especially for food.

They are generally solitary, but they can also be seen in pairs or small groups (especially after breeding), but the extreme shortage should limit the normal social behavior.


The Reunion Parakeet nests in cavities of large native trees (often Mimusops but also Calophyllum or Canarium) generally between 6-10 meters above the ground. The inlet has a diameter between 10-15cm.

The peak in the egg laying It is late September to early October, although it may take place between August to November, is composed of 2 to 4 eggs. The female incubated eggs for three to four weeks, while teammate bring your food. Both parents then provide their young until they leave the nest in about two months old.


Feeding the Reunion Parakeet It is composed of a wide range of native plant parts, including outbreaks include, sprouts, leaves, flowers, fruits, seeds, remained, sap and bark. Introduced plants rarely eat. Plants which include feed Calophyllum, Canarium paniculatum, Tabernaemontana mauritiana, Diospyros, erythrospermum monticolum, Eugenia, Labourdonnaisia, Mimusops trials, M. petiolaris, Nuxia verticillata and Protium obtusifolium.

The main feeding areas vary with season.


Size of the area of distribution (reproduction / resident): 60 km2

Endemic of Mauritius, Indian Ocean, but also he lived before the Réunion. The remaining birds contained in the last fragments of native forest vegetation.

In a time, widely distributed, but now reduced to a small relict population in the plateau south-west, around the Black River Gorges National Park and the Monte Cocotte.

Mainly sedentary, but with some slight seasonal changes depending on availability of food.

The main cause, apparently, the decline in the population of the Reunion Parakeet long-term, It is the loss of habitat (natural vegetation used for agriculture and forestry), nest predation by introduced species such as Crab-eating Macaque (Macaca fascicularis) and black rat (Rattus rattus) , competition with Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri) (introduced on 1886) and the effects of disease and storms.

The total area of ​​habitat available It is 50km2. Population between 7-11 birds in 1984, aumentando a 30 birds in the wild and 8 in captivity 1995, with between 40-50 wild birds 1996. Intensive conservation program which includes captive breeding Mauritius (first successful reproduction 1993-1994), predator control with veterinary assistance for wild birds, ecological research and habitat protection, It is getting a considerable increase in the population of the Reunion Parakeet.

The National Park protect the last natural forests today, but continuous invasion of exotic flora, It remains a long-term threat.

Distribution 2 subspecies:


• Current red list of UICN: Danger

• Population trend: Growing

At the end of the breeding season between 2011/2012, the population was estimated at approximately 580 birds (V. Tatayah in some. 2012).

The population of the Reunion Parakeet It is estimated to have experienced a very rapid increase in the last 23 years (three generations).

The previous decline in the distribution of this species is for the serious destruction and its native habitat degradation (Jones 1987 Greenwood 1996).

The population decreased probable total of several thousand individuals, following the forest destruction and the replacement of their feeding habitat, upland dwarf forests, plantations (Jones et al., 1998).

In 1996, only the 5% the island was covered with native vegetation (Jones et al. 1998).

The areas of native forests remaining in the highlands still being highly degraded by cyclones, the influences of forestry practices of the past, the spread of introduced plants like Peruvian guava (Invasive cattleianum), privet (Ligustrum robustum) and Pomeroy (Syzygium jambos), and the effect of wild mammals introduced as boars (Sus scrofa) and the Timor deer (Cervuss) (Greenwood 1996, Thorsen y Jones 1998).

The production of native fruit, from which the parrot feeds, and regeneration is possible trees nest, because, poor (Greenwood 1996).

Recent research suggests that the food shortage due to deterioration of native forest is the main cause of nest failure; although exotic species can provide an abundant source of food, They are not available throughout the year, even along the breeding season (Thorsen y Jones 1998).

The crab-eating macaque (Macaca fascicularis) and black rats (Rattus rattus) are among a number of introduced tree species representing a threat for the Reunion Parakeet, raiding nests and competing for native fruits (Greenwood 1996).

The European bee (Apis melífera), yellowjackets (Polistes hebraeus), termites, the common rabijunco (Phaethon lepturus), the introduced common mynah (Acridotheres tristis) and Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri), They are all competing for nesting sites and can move active breeding pairs (Thorsen y Jones 1998, C. Jones in little. 2000, V. Tatayah in some. 2012).

The decline in the number of old native trees, that perish damaged by storms and senescence, They have intensified competition for nesting cavities (Jones et al., 1998).

Infestations fly larvae in the nests can be severe in some years and, without intervention, kill many young (C. Jones in a bit., 2000).

Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD), It has been found in more than 20% of birds sampled, and at least 50% birds observed with PBFD It is believed to have died, However, a considerable number of copies they have been seen recover from illness (Richards 2010). Pesticides do not seem to have significantly affected the species (Greenwood 1996).

According to Mauritius Wildlife Foundation (MWF), trying to stop this worrying phenomenon, the origin of evil is attributed to the imported parrots, mostly the Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus) and Coconut Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus).

The species has been the subject of a conservation program from 1973 (Jones et al. 1998). The dramatic increase in the population of the species in recent years to an intensive program is undoubtedly to manage the wild population, combined with a program captive breeding great success since the season 1993/4 Playback (Jones et al., 1998).

Mauritius Parakeet in captivity:

The Reunion Parakeet He is the only survivor of the species Psittacula They are inhabiting the islands in the South Indian Ocean, about Madagascar. It is one of the parrots World's rarest existing.

Some specimens bred in captivity (Hand rearing) for reintroduction into the wild; else not bred in captivity.

In the news, the aviary captive population is 18 birds, with successful reproduction of a couple. The place of the old aviary, where the extraordinary work has been achieved in very primitive conditions, now it is being replaced with a new space, once completed this spring, It will house up 12 breeding pairs of the Reunion Parakeet, a large flight cage 60 meters for immature.

Alternative names:

Mauritius Parakeet, Echo Parakeet, Maruitius parakeet, Mascarene Parakeet, Mauritian Parakeet (English).
Perruche de Maurice, Perruche à longue queue (French).
Mauritiussittich (German).
Periquito-de-maurício (Portuguese).
Cotorra de Mauricio (Spanish).

Scientific classification:

Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Psittaculidae
Genus: Psittacula
Scientific name: Psittacula eques
Citation: (Newton, A & Newton, E, 1876)
Protonimo: Palaeornis echo

Reunion Parakeet Images:


Reunion Parakeet (Psittacula eques)


– Parrots of the World – Forshaw Joseph M
– Parrots A Guide to the Parrots of the World – Tony Juniper & Mike Parr


(1) – Echo parakeet (Psittacula eques echo), the rarest Parrokeet in the world, saved from extinction by captive breeding programme at the Durrell trust Blackwater Gorge By colin houston [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
(2) – By Wildlife Preservation Canada – link
(3) – Echo Parakeet, Mauritius by Tara – Miles to the wild
(4) – Echo Parakeet, Mauritius by Tara – Miles to the wild
(5) – Female Echo Parakeet (Psittacula eques) by Johannes Fischer – Mauritius January – July 2013, Petrin, Camp Field Station and Brise Fer
(6) – Psittacula type illustration of a knight on horseback (Martinet in Buffon, 1779) By François-Nicolas Martinet [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Sounds: George Sangster (Xeno-canto)

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8 December, 2015 10:34 pm

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