Cyanoramphus malherbi Souancé, 1857

Orange-fronted parakeet, Malherbe's parakeet, kākāriki karaka (Māori)



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

A complete synonymy taken from (Checklist Committee (OSNZ), 2022:199):

Cyanoramphus Malherbi Souancé, 1857: Revue Mag. Zool. 9 (2nd series): 98 – “unknown locality” = South Island (fide Mathews & Iredale 1913, Ibis 1 (10th series): 426).; Platycercus malherbii (Souancé); G.R. Gray, 1862: Ibis 4: 229. Unjustified emendation.; Platycercus alpinus Buller, 1869: Ibis 5 (new series): 39 – high country of the South Island.; Cyanorhamphus alpinus (Buller); Reichenow 1881, Journ. für Ornith. 29: 44.; Cyanorhamphus auriceps Malherbi (Souancé); Reichenow 1881, Journ. für Ornith. 29: 44.; Cyanorhamphus malherbei (Souancé); Hutton 1904, Index Faunae N.Z.: 29. Unjustified emendation.; Cyanoramphus malherbi Souancé; Mathews & Iredale 1913, Ibis 1 (10th series): 426.; Cyanoramphus auriceps auriceps; Checklist Committee 1990, Checklist Birds N.Z.: 179. Not Psittacus auriceps Kuhl, 1820.


Conservation Status

Rediscovered twice



New Zealand


Biology & Ecology










Original scientific description:

Souancé, Charles de.; Blanchard, Emile; Bonaparte, Charles Lucian; Saint-Hilaire, Alexandre Bourjot; Vaillant, François Le. (1857). Iconographie des perroquets : non-figurés dans les publications de Levaillant et de M. Bourjot Saint-Hilaire. Paris: P. Bertrand. p. 48.


Other references:

Boon, W; Kearvell, J; Daugherty, C; Chambers, G. (2000). "Molecular systematics of New Zealand Cyanoramphus parakeets: conservation of Orange-fronted and Forbes' Parakeets". Bird Conservation International 10: 211–239

Boon, W; Kearvell, J; Daugherty, C; Chambers, G. (2001). "Molecular Systematics and Conservation of Kakariki (Cyaniramphus spp.)". Science for Conservation 176, Department of Conservation, Wellington, New Zealand

Checklist Committee (OSNZ). (2010). Checklist of the Birds of New Zealand, Norfolk and Macquarie Islands, and the Ross Dependency, Antarctica (4th ed.). Ornithological Society of New Zealand & Te Papa Press, Wellington. [p. 257]

Checklist Committee (OSNZ). (2022). Checklist of the Birds of New Zealand (5th edition). Ornithological Society of New Zealand Occasional Publication No. 1. Wellington: Ornithological Society of New Zealand. [p. 199]

Elliot, G.P.; Suggate, R. 2007. Operation Ark: three year progress report. Christchurch, Department of Conservation

Gaze, P., Cash, B. (2008) A history of wildlife translocations in the Marlborough Sounds, Occasional Publication No. 72, Nelson: Department of Conservation

Harrison, M. (1970). "The Orange-fronted Parakeet (Cyanoramphus malherbi)". Notornis 17 (2): 115–125.

Innes, J; Kelly, D; Overton, J; Gilles, C. (2010). "Predation and other factors currently limiting New Zealand forest birds" New Zealand Journal of Ecology 34: 86–114

Kearvell, J (2013). "Interspecific competition for nest sites between common starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) and orange-fronted parakeets (Cyanoramphus malherbi) in the Poulter Valley". Notornis 60: 188–190

Kearvell, J; Connor, C; Farley, M. (2014). "Field identification of the orange-fronted parakeet (Cyanoramphus malherbi): pitfalls for the unwary". Notornis 61(4): 200–204

Kearvell, J; Grant, A; Boon, W (2003). "The orange-fronted parakeet (Cyanoramphus malherbi) is a distinct species: a review of recent research on its taxonomy and systematic relationship within the genus Cyanoramphus". Notornis, 50: 27–35

Kearvell, Jonathan C.; Young, James R.; Grant, Andrew D. (2002). "Comparative ecology of sympatric orange-fronted parakeets (Cyanoramphus malherbi) and yellow-crowned parakeets (C. auriceps), South Island, New Zealand". New Zealand Journal of Ecology. 26 (2): 139–148.

Miskelly, C.M. & Powlesland, R.G. 2013. Conservation translocations of New Zealand birds, 1863–2012. Notornis 60: 3–28.

Nixon, A.J. (1981). "The External Morphology and Taxonomic Status of the Orange-fronted Parakeet". Notornis 28: 292–300

O'Donnell, Colin F. J. (1 January 1996). "Predators and the decline of New Zealand forest birds: An introduction to the hole‐nesting bird and predator programme". New Zealand Journal of Zoology. 23 (3): 213–219. 

Ortiz-Catedral, L. (2009). "Some observations on the behaviour of the critically endangered orange-fronted parakeet (Cyanoramphus malherbi) on Maud Island, New Zealand". Notornis 56: 165–166

Ortiz-Catedral, L. (2012). "Habitat use by the critically endangered orange-fronted parakeet (Cyanoramphus malherbi) on Maud Island: its relevance for future translocations". Notornis 59: 148-152

Ortiz–Catedral, Luis; Brunton, Dianne H. (2009). "Notes on the diet of the critically endangered orange–fronted parakeet (Cyanoramphus malherbi) on Maud Island". New Zealand Journal of Zoology. 36 (4): 385–388.

Ortiz-Catedral, L.; Kearvell, J.C.; Hauber, M.E.; Brunton, D.H. (2010). "Breeding biology of the critically endangered Malherbe's parakeet on Maud Island, New Zealand, following the release of captive-bred individuals". Australian Journal of Zoology. 57 (6): 433–439.

Robertson, H; Dowding, J; Elliott, G; Hitchmough, R; Miskelly, C; O'Donnell, C; Powlesland, R; Sagar, P; Scofield, R; Taylor, G. (2013). Conservation status of New Zealand birds, 2012. NZ Threat Classification Series 4. Department of Conservation.

Taylor, R.H.; Heatherbell, E.G. & Heatherbell, E.M. 1986. The orange-fronted parakeet (Cyanoramphus malherbi) is a colour morph of the yellow-crowned parakeet (C. auriceps). Notornis 33: 17–22.


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