Echo Parakeet

Psittacula eques

Photo: Dr. Philips Edwards

Echo Parakeet

Species type: Bird
Species (Common Name): Echo Parakeet, Mauritius Parakeet, Grosse Câteau Verte or Katover
Scientific Name: Psittacula eques
Endemism: Mauritian Endemic
Conservation status: Endangered

Description: The echo parakeet is a medium-sized, bright emerald green coloured parrot of about 35 cm in length and about 180 grams in weight. The males have a black neck collar and a red upper beak while the females have no collar and an all-black beak. It nests in tree cavities and on cliff faces and eats flowers, leaves and fruit of both native and introduced trees.

Fun facts:

  1. The echo parakeet was once considered to be the most endangered bird in the world with a wild population of 10-12 individuals in 1986.
  2. Species recovery work comprising of activities such as captive breeding, the protection of nests from predators, the provision of artificial nest boxes, supplementary feeding of wild birds as well as habitat restoration helped the population recover to 540 birds in 2011.
  3. The echo parakeet was once found in Réunion and reintroduction to Réunion may be considered in the future.
  4. The echo parakeet is the only one of the six known endemic Mascarene parrot species to survive extinction.
  5. The bird emits a variety of calls including a loud “kaaark kaaark” which is the reason for the name “echo parakeet”.