Chatham Parakeet
Cyanoramphus forbesi

Chatham Parakeet

23 cm. length and 95 g. of weight.

The Chatham Parakeet (Cyanoramphus forbesi) They are one of the two medium bright green parrots of Chatham Islands. Although they look very similar to those Yellow-fronted Parakeet (Cyanoramphus auriceps) of New Zealand continental, the color of the crown is not a reliable indicator of taxonomic relationships.

It believes that the Chatham Parakeet descended from an ancient lineage of parrots who reached the Chatham Islands before the division Yellow-fronted Parakeet and Red-fronted Parakeet happened in New Zealand continental, after which the Red-fronted Parakeet (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae) also they colonized Chatham Islands.

The Chatham Parakeet They are medium-sized parrots, of tail long, with wings wide and rounded and plumage predominantly emerald. have a crown front bright yellow and crimson frontal band that does not reach the eyes, unlike in the Red-fronted Parakeet. Males are larger than the females.


From 1930 It is commonly treated as a subspecies of Yellow-fronted Parakeet (Cyanoramphus auriceps), and clearly the two are closely related; the species differ, However, in size considerably, It is larger species Cyanoramphus forbesi. Currently considered Monotypic.


The Chatham Parakeet They are at higher densities in forests and dense vegetation regenerating areas than in open grassland. Despite its rather erratic flight, They fly hard and move easily between islas Mangere and little Mangere. Occasionally they have been observed Chatham Parakeet individual in the forests of southern Chatham Island (> 20 km from the Mangere Island) and nearby islands Pitt and owner. Their social behavior is similar to other species of parakeets Cyanoramphus. They are strongly territorial around nests, calling loudly and chasing intruders from nearby.


The Chatham Parakeet They have a long breeding season, with eggs laid between October and March. Are nesters cavity, preferring tree holes but also using rock crevices and under dense vegetation. The size medium of laying is of 5 eggs. Like all the other parakeets Cyanoramphus, females are responsible for preparing the nest, incubation, breeding and feeding the chicks until 10-14 days old. During this period all their food is provided by your partner. From then on, male and female parrots feed the chicks in the nest until they leave the nest.

The incubation usually begins after the start of the second egg, It is resulting in chicks within a clutch that vary greatly in size and age. Unhatched chickens in the past are often born at a younger age and are less developed than their older siblings. You can try more than one breeding if the initial nest fails or if the food supply permits.


The foods consumed by Chatham Parakeet They are affected by seasonal availability, and include seeds, flowers and leaves of various plants, It is the most important invertebrates in spring. They feed extensively in soil in open areas.

Distribution and status:

Sw extension of its distribution area (reproduction / resident): 3 km2

The Chatham Parakeet It is restricted to of Tapuaenuku ISLA ISLA Pequeña Mangere and Mangere in the Group of Chatham Islands, New Zealand. In 1930 He quenched in Mangere Island, but in 1973 He had re-colonized and numbered 40 birds and a small number of hybrids with the subspecies Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae chathamensis (of whom had 12 on the island) (Higgins 1999).

In 1996, two estimates indicated that the population of the Mangere Island It was from 50 - 120 Purebred birds. The population on the small island of little Mangere It is little known because the few visits made (H. Aikman a slightly. 1999). In 1999, it was estimated that the total population was about 120 birds (Aikman et al. 2001), but studies 2003 estimated 900 individuals on Isla Mangere (Aikman y Miskelly 2004, D. Houston y C. Miskelly a slightly. 2008).

A recent study estimated that more than 50% of the population of parakeets in Isla Mangere It consisted of individuals hybrid (Chan et al. 2006), but this is expected to decrease due to mating positive range (T. Greene a slightly. 2012); the number of phenotypes Forbes It is approaching the threshold management 10% (D. Houston a slightly. 2012) (namely, the number above which the sacrifice can be resumed as a management tool). There have been birds visiting South isla Chatham, the Pitt island and ISLA ISLA Chief of Sudeste (Taylor 1998, D. Houston y C. Miskelly a slightly. 2008, T. Greene a slightly. 2012).


• Current red list category of the UICN: Vulnerable.

• Population trend: Stable.

• Population size : 250-999 individuals.

Justification of the red list category

This species may still have a small Purebred adult population. Possible removal by hybridization has been avoided thanks to three decades of conservation efforts, which they have seen increasing population size. It is restricted to one place (given the proximity of the small islands that lives and mobility), and its small population size means it still deserves to be included in a threatened category, but it is likely that their population size has been more than 250 mature for more than 5 years, so it has been transferred to the category of Vulnerable.

Justification of the population

The population of phenotypes similar to those of Forbes It has increased dramatically in the Mangere Island, with best estimates place the population between 800 and 1.000 individuals. A survey in 2011 It assessed that the phenotypes of interest are in the 10%, the trigger level for management action (D. Houston a slightly. 2012). It is likely that populations have exceeded 250 mature for more than 5 years, so now it is in the range of 250-999 mature individuals.

Justification trend

The population has shown minor fluctuations in recent years, since the species recolonized the Mangere Island over the years 70 and it has benefited from habitat restoration, while hybridization has also suffered. In general, It is estimated that the population has remained stable during the last ten years, and It is probably increasing (T. Greene a slightly. 2012).


• the Disappeared Mangere Island due to a combination of deforestation for grazing, decades of burning, the effects of introduced mammals grazing and predation by feral cats (Higgins 1999).

• The biggest threat is the hybridization with the Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae chathamensis, subspecies Red-fronted Parakeet (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae) What, despite the sacrifice, still it is settling in Mangere Island (J. Kearvell a slightly. 1999).

• It is believed that the rate of hybridization High above is the result of the then low population sizes of the two species (D. Houston y C. Miskelly a slightly. 2008).

• levels hybridization They have remained below 10% of the total population of parakeets Mangere Island over the past decade, so no management intervention was not necessary.

Conservation Actions Underway

Appendix I and II of CITES. The Mangere Island It has been substantially replanted (Aikman et al. 2001, D. Houston y C. Miskelly a slightly. 2008).

• An environmental and genetic research has investigated the population dynamics, the hybridization and selection of partners (H. Aikman a slightly. 1999, Chan et al. 2006).

• During 1976-1999, hybrid birds and individuals of the subspecies Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae chathamensis They were sacrificed population (Nixon 1994).

• In 1998, 40 hybrid And six Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae chathamensis were killed, leaving 10 copies between hybrid and Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae chathamensis after the operation (H. Aikman a slightly. 1999).

• surveys the relative proportion of hybrid regarding type phenotypes Forbes They are held every two years (D. Houston a slightly. 2012).

• The translocation a fenced area predator proof in Chatham Island It is planned for 2017 (D. Houston a slightly. 2012).

Conservation Actions Proposed

• Complete investigation ecological, biological and genetic, including analysis and dissemination of results.

Monitor trends in the extent and quality of forest habitats on the island of Mangere.

Restore forest habitats Mangere Island to increase the number and reduce hybridization.

• To work for the establishment of one or more populations in Chatham Island (H. Aikman a slightly. 1999).

Chatham parakeet in captivity:

There are no data from Chatham Parakeet in captivity.

In nature, its lonjevidad is probably similar to that of Yellow-fronted Parakeet (Cyanoramphus auriceps): 10 years.

Alternative names:

Chatham Island Yellow-crowned Parakeet, Chatham Islands Parakeet, Chatham Parakeet, Forbes’s Parakeet (English).
Kakariki de Forbes, Kakariki des îles Chatham, Perruche des Chatham, Perruche des îles Chatham (French).
Chathamsittich (German).
Periquito-de-peito-amarelo-da-Ilha-chatham (Portuguese).
Perico de las Chatham (Spanish).

Lionel Walter Rothschild
Lionel Walter Rothschild

Scientific classification:

Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Psittaculidae
Genus: Cyanoramphus
Scientific name: Cyanoramphus forbesi
Citation: Rothschild, 1893
Protonimo: Cyanorhamphus [sic] Forbes

Images of the Chatham Parakeet:



• Parrots of the World – Forshaw Joseph M
• Parrots A Guide to the Parrots of the World – Tony Juniper & Mike Parr
• Greene, T.C. 2013 [updated 2017]. Forbes’ parakeet. In Miskelly, C.M. (ed.) New Zealand Birds Online.


(1) – Chatham Islands Parakeet on Mangere Island by Markanderson72 [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons
(2) – Andrew Sutherland, IBC1065693. Photo of Chatham Parakeet Cyanoramphus forbesi at Chatham Islands, New Zealand. Accessible at

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