Date Published: April 2011
The red-fronted parakeet (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae) is a medium sized parrot with bright green plumage, dark-blue outer upperwing and crimson forecap. The historical distribution of this species centred on New Zealand and extended north to New Caledonia, south to Macquarie Island, west to Lord Howe Island and east to Kermadec and Chatham Islands. It is now extinct on the New Zealand mainland but recorded on many nearshore and offshore islands.
Populations currently exist on the Kermadec islands, Three Kings, some Hauraki Gulf islands, Kapiti Island, Stewart Island and surrounding islands, Chatham Islands, Snares, Antipodes Island and Auckland Islands. It is now extinct on Lord Howe Island and Macquarie Island.
The red-fronted parakeet has been re-introduced in New Zealand from privately held stock. Successful releases include Tiritiri Matangi Island, Cuvier Island and Whale Island, where they have established.
The natural distribution of red-fronted parakeet includes areas similar in climate to Tasmania and there is therefore potential for this species to establish in Tasmania. If the red-fronted parakeet established in Tasmania it is likely to compete with the orange-bellied parrot, blue-winged parrot eastern rosella and green rosella for food and nest hollows. They could also compete for nest hollows for a range of small native species such as the swift parrot, musk lorikeet, owlet nightjar and tree martin.
The establishment of the red-fronted parakeet in Tasmania also has the potential for some impact on agricultural industries as the species is known to be capable of utilising various commodities such as cereal grains, oilseeds, grain legumes, fruit and vegetables.
Risk assessment using the Bomford model (2008) determined that there is a 'moderate' likelihood of the red-fronted parakeet establishing wild populations in Tasmania and that there is a 'serious' risk of an established population causing harm to the environment.
The red-fronted parakeet is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN as it is known from fewer than ten locations within a small and declining range. It is also listed on Appendix 1 to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES), restricting the commercial international trade in specimens of these species. As the red-fronted parakeet is a CITES listed species, international trade in specimens of this species is subject to regulation under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
In Tasmania the red-fronted parakeet is currently listed as a controlled animal under the Nature Conservation Act 2002. A permit is required to import this species but they can be held without a permit to possess wildlife.
Red-fronted Parakeet (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae) (603Kb)