Oct 28, 2008

Kadavu (Crimson) Shining Parrot - NatureFiji-MareqetiViti Endangered Species

Kadavu Parrot
Kadavu Parrot
Kadavu (Crimson) Shining Parrot
Prosopeia splendens
Kaka, Kakula
Island EndemicVulnerableCites - Appendix II

The Kadavu parrot is the most distinctive of Fiji’s colourful Shining Parrots. It is a large parrot, similar in size to Fiji’s other two endemic Shining Parrots, measuring up to 45 cm from the tip of its beak to the tip of its tail. The colouration of the Kadavu parrot distinguishes it from the other two species. Its head, neck and underparts are a bright scarlet with a blue collar that extends across back of the neck; the back and the rump are a bright shining green. The flight feathers and tail are green, strongly suffused with blue. The bill and feet are black, and the irises are orange in colour. Males and females are similar, however, the bill of males is larger and the head is more square-shaped than females.


Click map to enlarge/shrink map size
Kadavu Parrot map
This colourful bird is endemic to the island of Kadavu and nearby Ono. The Kadavu parrot is occasionally seen on Viti Levu as escaped pet birds, but there are no known records of them successfully breeding outside of Kadavu and Ono.

Habitat, Ecology and Behaviour
The parrots range widely, in small flocks of up to a dozen birds, over the whole of Kadavu and Ono. While most of their food is located in forest areas, they may also visit farms and gardens, mangroves and secondary forest areas. Parrots are specialist seed eaters but they also feed on,fruits, buds and young leaves. While there is some information available on the breeding habits and nesting of the other two endemic parrots: Proposopeia tabuensis and P. personata, there has been no detailed study of the ecology and reproductive behaviour of the Kadavu Shining parrot.

The destruction of the Kadavu Parrot’s habitat and its illegal trade as a cage bird are the most serious current threats to the survival of this noisy forest bird. Predation by introduced mammals such as feral cats and rats are also a possible threat, though this has yet to be determined.

Conservation Status
The Kadavu Parrot is listed as Vulnerable under the IUCN Redlist of Threatened species and is protected by law against trading and transfers out of Kadavu and Ono.

Remarks and Cultural Significance
The presence of the Kadavu Parrot in Ono today is in defiance of a popular Fijian legend which saw them banished from the island of Ono – though intriguingly when Theodore Kleinschmidt visited Ono in 1876, our first observations on the island, he noted the absence of parrots there! The main features that distinguish the Kadavu parrot from Fiji’s other two parrots are the scarlet as opposed to maroon underparts and the striking blue collar at the back of the neck.

Watling (2004)

NatureFiji-MareqetiViti Endangered Species