New Zealand Journal of Ecology (1979) 2: 42- 45

How the Macquarie Island parakeet became extinct

Research Article
R. H. Taylor  
  1. Ecology Division, DSIR. Private Bag, Nelson, New Zealand

For 70 years following the discovery of Macquarie Island in 1810 the endemic parakeet Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae erythrotis remained plentiful, despite the introduction of cats (Felis catus) and other predators. The crucial factor in the bird's rapid disappearance between 1881 and 1890 appears to have been the successful liberation of rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) in 1879. This led to great increases of feral cats and introduced wekas (Gallirallus australis) and presumably to greatly intensified predation on parakeets.