The Kakariki (Maori for 'green') are forest dwelling parakeets. These beautiful native birds inhabit native forests and also off-shore islands, but sadly like many New Zealand birds are becoming more rare on the mainland due to introduced mamallian predators.
There are five main species of Kakariki, and you can see two of these at Paradise Valley Springs - the red-crowned and the yellow-crowned parakeets.
Red-crowned kakariki are only common on islands free from predators, and are very rare on the mainland. There are also sub-species of red-crowned parakeets living on islands around New Zealand such as Norfolk Island and New Caledonia.
The yellow-crowned kakariki is very rare around New Zealand also, but can be found on both the North and South Islands as well as Stewart Island and the sub-antarctic Auckland Islands, preferring to live in tall unbroken forested areas.
The main threat to Kakariki are introduced predators like rats. Because they nest in holes in trees they are vulnerable when they are on the nest, as are the fledglings when they are moving around on the ground. The best way of helping our native birds is to control pests such as rats - find out how on the Department of Conservation website.
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