Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Uvea parakeet

Eunymphicus uvaeensis

(Photo from Chanbokeo)

Common name:
Uvea parakeet (en); piriquito-de-Uvea (pt); perruche d'Ouvea (fr); perico maorí de uvea (es); Uveasittich (de)

Order Psittaciformes
Family Psittacidae

This species is endemic to the island of Uvea, in New Caledonia.

The Uvea parakeet is 32 cm long and weighs 100-150 g.

They are restrict to old-growth forests and adjacent cultivates land, namely papaya plantations.

These birds eat the seeds of various plants, namely Ficus, papaya, Passiflore and Capsicum.

Uvea parakeets breed in August-January. The nests are located in natural cavities in native trees, namely Syzygium and Mimusops. There the female lays 1-3 eggs which she incubates alone for 19-22 days. The chicks fledge around 43 days after hatching. Each pair may produce 1-2 broods per season.

IUCN status - EN (Endangered)
This species has a very restricted breeding range and a global population estimated at just 750 individuals. The decline of the primary forests of the islands are the main threat to the species, but other threats include capture for the illegal pet trade and competition for trees by introduced bees. As of today, the island of Uvea is rat free, but an eventual colonization of the island by the black rat Rattus rattus could be devastating for the species.

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