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7 February 2015

Horned Parakeet

Horned Parakeet (獨角鸚鵡)
New Caledonia (2014)

6th November, 2014. Bujumbura

The Horned Parakeet is a species of parrot in the genus Eunymphicus, in the Psittaculidae family, is a largely green parakeet endemic to New Caledonia. It is called Horned because it has two black feathers that protrude from the head and have red tips. This parakeet has a yellowish nape with a black and red face and bluish wings and tail. It makes a nasal "kho-khoot" contact call and also makes a wide range of shrieks and chuckles.

The species has a preference for natural forests and laurel forest habitat. The horned parakeet lives humid pine forests on New Caledonia, especially when Agathis and Araucaria pines are present. They live in pairs or small flocks and forage for seeds and nuts in the canopy. It nests both on the ground and in trees.

This bird has declined since the 1880s, but it is still found in some range on New Caledonia and recent population estimates believe that there are over 2500 birds left. Eunymphicus cornutus is declining by poaching and habitat destruction. This bird has habitat fragmented into distinct subpopulations. The total population is small, and it is restricted to single subpopulations which is suspected to have declined owing to habitat degradation, and it therefore qualifies as Vulnerable. Eunymphicus cornutus have undergone a decline over the past three generations (from 1988) owing to habitat degradation also predation by invasive species.
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