Nature conservation

Threatened species

Red-crowned Parakeet (Lord Howe Is. subsp.) - profile

Indicative distribution

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The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae subflavescens
Conservation status in NSW: Extinct
Commonwealth status: Extinct
Profile last updated: 15 Jun 2020


The Lord Howe Red-fronted Parakeet also known as the Lord Howe Parakeet, is an extinct parrot subspecies endemic to Lord Howe Island. It is one of a number of subspecies of the Red-fronted Parakeet (or Kakariki) (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae) which is now considered restricted to New Zealand and a number of its offshore islands.

The Red-crowned Parakeet (Lord Howe Island) was a medium-sized green parrot (length 21–27 cm; weight 80 g [males], 70 g [females]). The head was bright green with a crimson cap and eye-stripe; the eyes were red and the bill was grey. The upperparts were bright green with a dark red patch on either side of the rump (usually concealed by the wings when resting) and a blue leading edge to the wings; and the underparts were bright yellowish-green. Sexes appeared similar but the female was smaller in size.


The Red-crowned Parakeet consists of a number of subspecies on New Zealand, associated inshore islands and in more remote locations including the Chatham and Kermadec Islands and also Macquarie Island (where they are also extinct). A number of closely related species on Norfold Island and New Caledonia are also sometimes included in this species.

The Red-crowned Parakeet (Lord Howe Island) was endemic to Lord Howe Island, in the south-west Pacific Ocean. The parrot was reported to have formerly occurred in large numbers, although no population estimates are available. It was persecuted by the early settlers there because of its raids on their crops and gardens and was last recorded in 1869.

There are only two specimens of the Lord Howe Parakeet in existence. They come from the John Gould collection, taken by John MacGillivray in September 1853 on the voyage of HMS Herald, and are held in the British Museum.

Habitat and ecology

  • The Red-crowned Parakeet (Lord Howe Island) was recorded as occasionally occurring in flocks. There is little information regarding the habitats inhabited by the Red-crowned Parakeet (Lord Howe Island). It probably occurred in inhabited forests and cultivated areas of Lord Howe Island. There is no information on the use of different habitats for different activities.
  • The food of the Red-crowned Parakeet (Lord Howe Island) probably consisted of plant material, such as seeds, fruits, buds and leaves form native trees and shrubs. Other extant populations mainly eat seeds, fruits and berries, buds, shoots and flowers, as well as, occasionally, small numbers of invertebrates.
  • Nothing is known of the sexual maturity, life expectancy and natural mortality of this extinct subspecies. However, it has been estimated the life span of the closely related Norfolk Island Green Parrot (Cyanoramphus cookii) to be three years. Ages of sexual maturity in populations of other subspecies are also unknown, though one juvenile female was seen mating with a male just one week after reaching independance, and captive birds are said to breed when they are less than one year old.
  • Nothing is known of the breeding of the Red-crowned Parakeet (Lord Howe Island). Other subspecies of the Red-crowned Parakeet probably breed in response to climatic conditions and availability of food; most breeding is recorded between October and February or March, though eggs have also been recorded in April, and young in August. Other subspecies usually nest in tree hollows or hollow spouts, or in crevices in cliffs or among rocks.


Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region