Kadavu parrot (Prosopeia splendens)

The Kadavu parrot (Prosopeia splendens) is the most distinctive of Fiji’s colourful Shining Parrots.

Also known as: Kadavu Parrot

Local Names: Kaka, Kakula

Description

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.

Distribution

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.

 Kadavu parrot (Prosopeia splendens) map

Kadavu parrot (Prosopeia splendens) map

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.

Threats

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 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.

References

Watling (2004)