Parrots of New Zealand

The parrots living in New Zealand have been noted for their unique evolution. As the island nation was isolated from the rest of the world for a long time, there were no mammalian predators to target these parrots. This isolation would not last, as with the arrival of the European settlers, the parrots faced predation from cats, dogs, and rats, habitat loss, and excessive hunting.

Nowadays, the parrots of New Zealand live under protection to prevent them from going extinct entirely. For instance, the current kākāpō population is only 248 – a far cry from being the 3rd most common bird when the Polynesian people were the sole people in the country. 

Parrots of New Zealand

List of Parrots Found in New Zealand

Endemic Species

These species are endemic to the various islands that make up the nation of New Zealand and are not seen elsewhere.

  • Antipodes Parakeet
  • Chatham Parakeet
  • Kākāpō
  • Kea
  • New Zealand Kākā
  • Orange-fronted Parakeet
  • Red-crowned Parakeet
  • Reischek’s Parakeet
  • Yellow-crowned Parakeet

Introduced Species

Most of these are parrots brought from Australia, either deliberately or accidentally. While the Galah and the Crimson Rosella only appear in small numbers, the Eastern Rosella and the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo have established populations in New Zealand.

Extinct Species

Several New Zealand parrots went extinct over the years, including the Chatham Island Kākā, which went extinct somewhere between 1550 and 1700 and has only been identified by fossilized remains, and the Norfolk Island Kākā, which went away by 1851.

  • Chatham Island Kākā
  • Norfolk Island Kākā

Interesting Facts

  • Around 1992, there was an attempt to introduce the rainbow lorikeet in New Zealand. However, it soon proved to be heavily damaging to the environment and was quickly brought under control.
  • There was an unidentified parrot that used to live on Campbell Island, however, it went extinct before it could be appropriately classified.