Raiatea Parakeet

Raiatea Parakeet


Profile Raiatea Parakeet

[order] PSITTACIFORMES | [family] PSITTACIDAE | [latin] Cyanoramphus ulietanus | [UK] Raiatea Parakeet | [Authority] J. F. Gmelin, 1788

Raiatea Parakeet extinct species

This is another of the species known only from the records and specimens brought back by those who sailed with Cook on his three exploratory voyages around the world. There is some doubt over which particular expedition encountered this bird, but it seems likely that the encounter took place when naturalists of the third voyage called at Raiatea (then called Ulietea) in the Society Islands of the South Pacific, during November 1777. At least two specimens were collected and these are now in the Natural History Museum, London and the Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna.

Nothing is known of the species, nor can any realistic reasons be advanced for its extinction which, presumably, took place soon after Cook’s last voyage, for the birds were never encountered again. Perhaps they were unable to withstand the attacks of introduced mammals or maybe man’s meddling with parrots was a factor.

Syst. Nat. 1(1): 328.

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