Population increase of critically endangered Malherbe’s parakeet Cyanoramphus malherbi introduced to Maud Island, New Zealand
Ortiz-Catedral L., Kearvell J.C. & Brunton D.H. (2012) Population increase of critically endangered Malherbe’s parakeet Cyanoramphus malherbi introduced to Maud Island, New Zealand. Conservation Evidence, 9, 54-57.
We present the first population estimate for the little known and critically endangered Malherbe’s parakeet Cyanoramphus malherbi inhabiting Maud Island, New Zealand. From March 2007 to May 2009 we conducted surveys for the species at this site to document the status of this translocated population and to determine the relative value of Maud Island for the conservation of this species. Using a modified version of the mark-resighting method, we estimated that the Maud Island population of Malherbe’s parakeets has gone from an initial founder group of 11 captive-bred parakeets released on site, to a maximum of 97 during our survey period (assuming a 72% survival rate between trimesters). Out of a total of 221 sightings, 22% corresponded to un-marked individuals hatched on site. Our estimate of population size, coupled with the high reproductive potential of the species, suggests that translocation of captive-bred individuals to sanctuaries free of invasive predators is an effective management method for increasing the global population size of the species and eventually downgrade its IUCN threat category.