The current research project takes place on Norfolk Island, an offshore territory of Australia and seeks to implement conservation actions to increase the population size of the critically endangered Green Parrot or Tasman Parakeet (Cyanoramphus cooki) using approaches developed in New Zealand for closely related Cyanoramphus species. Predator-proof nests have been installed and are closely monitored with motion-sensitive cameras. This enables park rangers to adjust the intensity of rat/cat control according to information obtained from these cameras. Population estimates for Tasman parakeets are conducted once per season in an attempt to model changes related to food availability, changes in the density of introduced predators and the breeding season of parrakeets. One of the main findings of this project so far is the change in foraging height for parakeets, between seasons. During winter, they feed mostly at ground level, facing higher exposure to feral cats, while from Spring to Autum they feed at 4 m or above, mostly on fruits of the endemic Niau palm. Recently fledged birds are at most risk since they must learn to forage on hard seeds in winter at ground level and have not experienced exposure to feral cats. In the coming months, further cat control will be implemented to maximise the survival of Tasman parakeets between seasons.
Project 142510085 location - Norfolk Island, Oceania