Justification of Red List Category
This species is thought to have suffered declines in the past to the point that it now has a moderately small population, and as a result it is listed as Near Threatened. If predator control continues within parts of its range, habitat recovers and remaining forests are protected, it may warrant downlisting in the future.
The population has decreased in numbers in the past and the species is generally uncommon throughout its range, although it may be common on offshore islands and in some mainland forests (Elliott 2013). The population is estimated as being in the tens of thousands (Elliott 2013) but trends are unclear (Higgins 1999).
This species is thought to have been adversely affected by forest clearance, introduced predators and hybridisation. Consequently, slow to moderate declines are suspected in the past.
Cyanoramphus auriceps is found throughout much of the North, South, Stewart and Auckland Islands, New Zealand, and on several offshore islands. It is generally considered uncommon throughout its range (Heather and Robertson 2015), however, it may become abundant on offshore islands and in mainland forests during periods of heavy seed production (Elliott 2013). The population is estimated as being in the tens of thousands (Elliott 2013) but trends are unclear (Higgins 1999).
It prefers mixed Nothofagus-Podocarpus forests, usually at higher altitude than C. novaezelandiae, or, where the two occur sympatrically on small islands it is found in denser unbroken forest. It is rarely found in secondary forest, and is absent from logged forests (Higgins 1999). Breeding occurs mainly in October-December. It feeds on seeds, berries, flowers, and roots. Insects taken from trees are a significant part of its diet (Greene 1998). In predator-free areas, the species will often feed on the ground.
Past declines have been attributed to deforestation, habitat modification and the introduction of mammalian predators, particularly cats, stoat Mustela erminea and rats (Heather and Robertson 1997, Higgins 1999). On offshore islands, Red-crowned Parakeet C. novaezelandiae is usually much more common (Heather and Robertson 1997) and may have completely replaced C. auriceps on Solander Island. On Auckland Island, there is an unnaturally high rate of hybridisation between the two species. Beak and Feather Disease Virus (BFDV) has been identified from birds in the Eglinton Valley, Fiordland (Massaro et al. 2012).
Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. This species occurs within a number of national parks and reserves where forest habitat is protected, but predators still pose a threat. It is benefiting from efforts to eradicate introduced predators from mainland forests and offshore islands. Successful translocations to offshore islands (Mana, Long Island and Motuara Island in Queen Charlotte Sound) have taken place and translocations to mainland sites (Maungatautari, Boundary Stream) are underway (Elliott 2013).
25 cm. Small bright green parakeet. Yellow-green body; yellow crown; red band from forehead to billl; red patches on flanks; violet-blue on wing coverts. Similar species: C. novaezelandiae has red crown and band from bill to behind eye. Hints: . Voice: Rapid high pitched chatter.
Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Bird, J., Harding, M., Khwaja, N., Taylor, J. & Stringer, C.
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Cyanoramphus auriceps. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 16/08/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 16/08/2022.