|New Zealand Kaka|
|Range in green|
Taxonomy and naming [మార్చు]
The New Zealand Kaka was described by German naturalist Johann Friedrich Gmelin in 1788. There are two subspecies, the North Island Kākā, Nestor meridionalis septentrionalis, and the South Island Kākā, N. m. meridionalis. The name Kākā is a Māori language word meaning "parrot".
The genus Nestor contains four species:
- the New Zealand Kaka, N. meridionalis
- the Kea, N. notabilis
- the Norfolk Island Kākā, N. productus †
- the Chatham Island Kākā, N. sp. †
All four are thought to stem from a 'proto-Kākā', dwelling in the forests of New Zealand 5 million years ago. The closest relative is the Kākāpō (Strigops habroptila). Together, they form the parrot family Strigopidae, with comprises an ancient group that split off from all other Psittacidae before their radiation.
The New Zealand Kaka is a medium sized parrot, around 45 cm (18 in) in length and weighing about 550 g, and is closely related to the Kea, but has darker plumage and is more arboreal. The forehead and crown are greyish-white and the nape is greyish-brown. The neck and abdomen are more reddish, while the wings are more brownish. Both sub-species have a strongly patterned brown/green/grey plumage with orange and scarlet flashes under the wings; color variants which show red to yellow coloration especially on the breast are sometimes found.
The calls include a harsh ka-aa and a whistling u-wiia.
Distribution and habitat [మార్చు]
The New Zealand Kaka lives in lowland and mid-altitude native forest. Its strongholds are currently the offshore reserves of Kapiti Island, Codfish Island and Little Barrier Island. It is breeding rapidly in the mainland island sanctuary at Zealandia, with over 100 chicks hatched since their reintroduction in 2002
The New Zealand Kaka feeds on fruits, berries, seeds, flowers, buds, nectar and invertebrates. It uses its strong beak to shred the cones of the kauri tree to obtain the seeds. It has a brush tongue with which it feeds on nectar, and it uses its strong beak to dig out the grubs of the longhorn beetle.
New Zealand Kaka make their nests in hollow trees, laying clutches of 2 to 4 eggs in late winter. Both parents assist in feeding the chicks.
Conservation status [మార్చు]
The New Zealand Kaka is considered vulnerable (CITES II). It has greatly declined, in part from habitat loss, in part because of introduced wasps, possums and bees, which compete with the New Zealand Kaka for honeydew, which is excreted by scale insects. Research has shown that this honeydew is very important for breeding birds, especially those breeding in southern beech forests. The difficult nature of controlling the wasps makes the New Zealand Kaka's future very uncertain. A closely related species, Nestor productus, the Norfolk Island Kaka, became extinct in 1851.
- Wright, T.F.; Schirtzinger E. E., Matsumoto T., Eberhard J. R., Graves G. R., Sanchez J. J., Capelli S., Muller H., Scharpegge J., Chambers G. K. & Fleischer R. C. (2008). "A Multilocus Molecular Phylogeny of the Parrots (Psittaciformes): Support for a Gondwanan Origin during the Cretaceous". Mol Biol Evol 25 (10): 2141–2156. doi:10.1093/molbev/msn160 .
- Grant-Mackie, E.J.; J.A. Grant-Mackie, W.M. Boon & G.K. Chambers (2003). "Evolution of New Zealand Parrots". NZ Science Teacher 103.
- Juniper, T., Parr, M. (1998) Parrots: A guide to parrots of the world. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press (ISBN 0-300-07453-0)
- de Kloet, R.S.; de Kloet, S.R. (2005). The evolution of the spindlin gene in birds: sequence analysis of an intron of the spindlin W and Z gene reveals four major divisions of the Psittaciformes. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 36: 706–721.
- Falla RA, Sibson RB & Turbot EG (1966) A Field guide to the birds of New Zealand. Collins, London (ISBN 0-00-212022-4)
- "Karori Sanctuary Trust timeline including species releases". Retrieved 2009-08-23.
- "Agathis australis, Kauri". Bushmans Friend. Retrieved 2007-08-27.
- మూస:IUCN2006 Database entry includes a range map and justification for why this species is endangered.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Nestor meridionalis|
- World Parrot Trust Parrot Encyclopedia - Species Profiles
- BirdLife Species Factsheet.
- Kaka (New Zealand Department of Conservation)