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.
Photo Courtesy: Dr. Vikash Tatayah
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)
Family: Psittacidae (Parrots)
Current IUCN Red List category:
Endangered - EN
International Union for the Conservation of Nature - Endangered
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
Size: estimated 540 individuals (2011)
Distribution size (breeding/resident): 61 sq km
Mainly in the wettest upland tropical forest of Black River Gorges National Park
Flowers, leaves and fruits of native and exotic trees
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
Habitat protection and improvement using fenced and weeded forest Conservation Management Areas
Rat control around nest sites
Manipulation of breeding pairs including egg harvesting and chick fostering
Supplementary feeding and provision of nest boxes