Raiatea Parakeet

Scientific Name
Cyanoramphus ulietanus
Extinct Year
Conservation Status
Extinct (EX)

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Wikipedia Article

The Society Parakeet (Cyanoramphus ulietanus) is an extinct parakeet of the genus Cyanoramphus.
It reached a length of 25 cm. Its head was chocolate brown. The bill showed a pale bluish grey hue and had a black tip. The back and the wings were coloured brown. The lower back and the tail exhibited a rufous brown colouring. The underwing coverts and the outer webs were greyish purple. The breast, the abdomen, and the undertail coverts were ochre yellow. The mid rectrices were olive brown and outer rectrices bueish grey. The feet were greyish brown, the eyes orange.
It was only known from Raiatea (Society Islands). Its habitat was probably woodland.
There are only two museum specimens known to exist. The date of their origin was discussed, with Erwin Stresemann (1950) and James Greenway (1958) suggesting 1773 or 1774. However, in 1979 the ornithologist David G. Medway from New Zealand claimed that the two specimens were taken in November 1777 during the third circumnavigation by James Cook. He based the claim on the travel diary entries by Joseph Banks. The specimens are in the Natural History Museum in London and in the Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna. The cause of extinction remains unknown, though deforestation and invasive species such as rats may have played a role. It must have become extinct shortly after its discovery.