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EchoParakeet – Istockphoto

February 22, 2018. Life / Back from the Brink

Species Conservation in Mauritius Island – Echo Parakeet (3/3)

Russell A. Mittermeier, Anthony B. Rylands, Wes Sechrest, Penny F. Langhammer, John C. Mittermeier, Michael J. Parr, William R. Konstant, Roderic B. Mast

Echo Parakeet shows an emerald green plumage. Males have a collar at the base of the head and the upper part of the beak is red, while females lack this collar and have a completely black beak.

In the late 1980s, only 8 to 12 Echo Parakeets could be located; only 3 were females. At the beginning, very little of the Echo Parakeet was known, but closely watching the last birds, it was possible to understand their problems.

There were few large hollow trees for them to nest in, and there was insufficient food (native fruits) for them to rear all of their young. The young were rescued from failing nests in order to establish a captive population or, when old enough, for release. In all, 139 birds—captive bred and rescued young—were reintroduced from 1997 to 2005. They were provided with additional food and nest boxes. The wild birds, initially reluctant to take supplemental food or to use the nest boxes, learned from the younger birds. The parakeets responded rapidly—most now nest in boxes, and about half take supplemental food.

In 2015, a second population in the eastern mountains was started, where they had been absent for almost a century. The population, still growing, currently stands at 650–700 birds.

Conservation Status: Endangered

 

This is an excerpt from the CEMEX Nature Series volume BACK FROM THE BRINK (2017)

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