Mauritius Parakeet

Psittacula eques

Factsheet

The Mauritius Parakeet is the only extant of six parrot species once endemic to the Mascarene Islands in the southern Indian Ocean. Its population gradually began to decline in the mid-1800s and by 1986 it was estimated that about 8-12 individuals were living in the wild upland forest of Mauritius.

In the early 1970s,  the Forestry Service and the International Council for Bird Preservation initiated conservation efforts to save the bird which was on the brink of extinction.

More than a decade later, the conservation program was intensified by the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation and the National Parks and Conservation Service.

Mauritius Echo Parakeet

Photo Courtesy: Dr. Vikash Tatayah


Common name:

English: Mauritius Parakeet or Echo parakeet

French: : grosse câteau vert or Perruche de l'Ile Maurice

Mauritian Creole: kato ver or peroke

Species name authors:

Alfred Newton, an English zoologist and ornithologist and Edward Newton, a British colonial administrator and ornithologist (1876)

Taxonomy:

Family: Psittacidae (Parrots)

Order: Psittaciformes

Tribe: Psittaculini

Current IUCN Red List category:

Endangered - EN

International Union for the Conservation of Nature - Endangered

Description:

Long-tailed with intense emerald-green feathers. Unlike the males which have a pinkish red upper beak, the females have an all-black bill.

A black ring around the neck

Size - about 36 cm long

Mass - 150 - 170 g

Population:

Size: estimated 540 individuals (2011) 

Trend: increasing

Distribution size (breeding/resident): 61 sq km

Habitat:

Mainly in the wettest upland tropical forest of Black River Gorges National Park

Diet:

Flowers, leaves and fruits of native and exotic trees

Threats:

Limited availability of natural nest sites and food

Competition from exotic birds

Predation by introduced mammals including Ship rats and Crab-eating macaques

Fatal and contagious disease:  Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD)

Destruction of nests, eggs and chicks by tropical cyclones

Conservation:

Habitat protection and improvement using fenced and weeded forest Conservation Management Areas

Rat control around nest sites

Captive breeding

Manipulation of breeding pairs including egg harvesting and chick fostering

Supplementary feeding and provision of nest boxes

Other Endangered Bird Species of Mauritius

■ Mauritius Kestrel ■ Mauritius Olive White-eye ■ Mauritius Fody, ■ Pink Pigeon ■ Mascarene Paradise Flycatcher ■ Mauritius Black Bulbul ■ Mauritius Grey White Eye ■ Mauritius Cuckooshrike

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