Above top: Red-crowned parakeet, J.L. Kendrick, Crown Copyright © Department of Conservation, Waikanae 1980
Above middle: Orange-fronted parakeet, Dave Crouchley, Crown Copyright © Department of Conservation, 1983
Above bottom: North Island kaka, Ross Henderson, Crown Copyright © Department of Conservation, Kapiti Island 2004
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See New Zealand native birds list
Threatened status of nine NZ native
birds worsens in global listing
3 June 2005
The red-crowned parakeet (left) and the rock wren have become New Zealand's latest
additions to the international list of threatened birds, following an annual reassessment.
They will be included in the 2005 IUCN Red List to be released later this year.
The threatened status of red-crowned parakeet and rock wren went up to 'vulnerable', from
the 'least concern' and 'near threatened' categories.
Nine native birds have just taken a step closer to joining the many extinctions in New Zealand.
The position of the Chatham Island shag and the orange-fronted parakeet (middle left)
was raised from 'endangered' to 'critically endangered', joining the elite ranks of kakapo,
black stilt and Campbell Island teal.
Five other native birds listed in 2004 as 'vulnerable' are raised to 'endangered'. They include
the New Zealand dotterel (top right), black-billed gull, Pitt Island shag, yellowhead,
and kaka (bottom left).
Yellowhead were uplisted after the complete loss of two populations.
The principal cause of decline of seven of the birds is predation of chicks and eggs in nests
by stoats and rats.
Predation has been most pronounced with critically endangered orange-fronted parakeet.
The last two natural populations totalling less than 100 in two North Canterbury valleys, have
dropped dramatically in recent breeding seasons when the masting of rata tree fruit has produced
a plague of stoats and rats.
The cause the Chatham Island shag's decline is not known. They only breed in a total
area of one hectare on three islands.
The annual assessment of the world's bird species by Birdlife International shows 1,212
threatened with extinction, which together with 788 near threatened species, make a total of
2,000 in trouble. This is more than 20 percent of the global count of 9,775 species.
Eighty (37 percent) of New Zealand's 215 living native birds are on the IUCN list, with 8
critically endangered, 20 endangered, 44 vulnerable and 9 near threatened.
The total number of New Zealand birds including subspecies was 273, but with 58 extinctions
since human settlement there are 215 living today.