National recovery plan for the Norfolk Island Green Parrot Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae cookii
Richard Hill, Birds Australia
Environment Australia, May 2002
The Norfolk Island Green Parrot Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae cookii is restricted to Norfolk Island (29°02'S, 167°57'E) and is listed as nationally 'endangered' (EPBC 1999). It is 'critically endangered' using the criteria of International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN 1994). It is currently listed as a subspecies of Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae cookii but is now considered a full species following Boon (et al. 2001). This taxonomy is followed by Garnett & Crowley (2000).
Both sexes of Green Parrot present similar plumage and males are distinguished from females by their larger size, larger red crown, and heavier bill (Forshaw 1981). Juveniles have a distinctive flesh-coloured bill for the first 4-6 weeks after fledging (Forshaw 1981).
Male Green Parrots call to advertise their territories and to attract females (Greenwood et al. 1989). Breeding in the wild takes place in all months of the year, peaking from December to March, and declining in September to November, when Crimson Rosellas (Platycercus elegans;) breed (Greenwood et al. 1989, Hicks and Preece 1991). Incubation commences after the second or third egg is laid and lasts 21 days (Hicks and Preece 1991). As the chicks reach approximately two weeks of age the female may leave to be fed by the male and commence a new nest (Greenwood 1993). Green Parrots may have multiple double-clutches and successfully fledge young up to four times in a year, with males and females sharing care of the young. R. Ward pers.comm.). Green Parrots generally prefer to use a fresh nest site each time, but may revert to the original site if a third site is not available. Fledglings leave the nest six to seven weeks after hatching and are dependent on their parents for food for a further 3-7 weeks (Davidson 1997, Forshaw 1981, Hicks & Greenwood 1989, Hicks and Preece 1991). Clutch size is relatively large (1-8, mean 6; Hicks & Greenwood 1989). The age of first breeding is unknown but may be soon after independence (Greene 1990). Thus Green Parrots have a high breeding potential.
The following research and monitoring work has been undertaken and continues on the wild population of the Green Parrot:
- Population census (No census has been undertaken since 1997 due to the poor quality of the colour band surfacing and a lack of resources:
- Searches for active nests, recording their location, nest maintenance and monitoring breeding progress, informal descriptions of nest hollows including the success of interventions, described later;
- Searching and mapping of potential nest sites;
- Recording and mapping the location of all parrot sightings outside NINP;
- Observations of the diet of the parrot;
- Colour-banding of fledglings and monitoring of their survival and development;
- A radio-tracking study of the post-fledging movements of wild juvenile Green Parrots;
- Incidental observations on mortality and post-mortems.
- Related research that has been undertaken in Norfolk Island National Park (NINP) includes a detailed rat population monitoring program, supplementing the extensive rat baiting program implemented since December 1992.
A rat-baiting program has been implemented in NINP. This was reviewed by Innes (1995) and additionally in 2002 by Wilson (awaiting report)
There is evidence that the rat baiting program is reducing rat numbers to low levels, with Black Rats declining first, then Polynesian Rats increasing in abundance and then declining (Innes 1995).
Cats have been trapped in wire cage traps in NINP on a regular basis since 1992. Trapping is also conducted in response to sightings or other evidence of cat activity within the NINP. Approximately 50 cats are trapped in the park each year.
Feral Crimson Rosellas regularly attempt to nest in sites modified for Green Parrots. Regular monitoring of nest sites to discover and destroy Rosella nesting activity is undertaken. The removal and destruction of adult Rosellas in Green Parrot breeding areas is undertaken and is also effective in reducing their numbers. Current measures to control for European Starlings are restricted to removal of all nesting attempts. Feral Honey Bees are destroyed when they are near nest sites.
The actions specified in this recovery plan will benefit a range of Norfolk Island threatened fauna. The existing control of rats and cats greatly benefits other island fauna.
This includes the threatened fauna and flora listed in Table 1.
Phreatia limenophylax (Endl.) Benth. Myoporum obscurum Endl. Clematis dubia (Endl.) P.S.Green Melicytus latifolius (Endl.) P.S.Green Achyranthes margaretarum de Lange Boehmeria australis Endl. var. australis Euphorbia norfolkiana Boiss. Calystegia affinis Endl. Hibiscus insularis Endl. Elymus multiflorus (Banks & Sol. ex Hook.f.)A.Love & Connervar.kingianus (Endl.) Conner Abutilon julianae Endl.
|Achyranthes arborescens R.Br.||Critically Endangered|
|Elatostema montanum Endl.||Critically Endangered|
|Wikstroemia australis Endl.||Critically Endangered|
|Meryta latifolia (Endl.) Seem.||Critically Endangered|
|Pisonia brunoniana Endl. Tylophora biglandulosa (Endl.) F.Muell. Zehneria baueriana Endl. Muehlenbeckia australis (G.Forst.) Meisn. Pennantia endlicheri Reissek Pouteria costata (Endl.) Baehni Coprosma pilosa Endl. Streblus pendulinus (Endl.) F.Muell. Blechnum norfolkianum (Heward) Maiden Cephalomanes bauerianum (Endl.) P.S.Green Coprosma baueri Endl.# Marattia salicina Sm. Crepidomanes endlicherianum (C.Presl) P.S.Green Lastreopsis calantha (Endl.) Tindale. Phreatia paleata Rchb.f. Pteris kingiana Endl. Pteris zahlbruckneriana Endl. Senecio evansianus Belcher Dendrobium brachypus (Endl.) Rchb.f. Senecio hooglandii Belcher *||Endangered|
|Melicope littoralis (Endl.) T.G.Hartley Zanthoxylum pinnatum (J.R.Forst. & G.Forst.) W.R.B.Oliv. Melicytus ramiflorus J.R.Forst. & G.Forst. ssp. oblongifolius (A.Cunn.) P.S.Green Meryta angustifolia (Endl.) Seem. Euphorbia obliqua Endl. Tmesipteris norfolkensis P.S.Green Senecio australis Willd. Ileostylis micranthus (Hook.f.) Tiegh. Hypolepis dicksonioides (Endl.) Hook. Peperomia urvilleana A.Rich. Taeniophyllum muelleri Lindl.ex Benth. Nephrolepis aff. cordifolia Ungeria floribunda Schott & Endl. Rapanea ralstoniae P.S.Green. Exocarpos phyllanthoides Endl. var. phyllanthoides Cordyline obtecta (Graham) Baker Dysoxylum bijugum (Labill.) Sem Pittosporum bracteolatum Endl. Dianella intermedia Endl. Elymus rectisetus (Nees)A.Love & Conner Freycinetia baueriana Endl. ssp.baueriana Phormium tenax J.R.Forst.& G.Forst.* Capparis nobilis (Endl.) F.Muell. ex Benth.* Carex neesiana Endl.*||Vulnerable
|Norfolk Island Boobook Ninox novaezelandiae undulataEndangered||Endangered|
|Scarlet Robin (Petroica multicolor multicolor).Vulnerable||Vulnerable|
|Golden Whistler (Pachycephala pectoralis xanthopracta).Vulnerable||Vulnerable|
Christinus guenththeriVulnerable Psuedomoia lichinigera
The Norfolk Island National Park Plan of Management 2000 is the strategic nature conservation document for the island.