Habitat: Today restricted
to Macchab; forest of Black River George in southwestern Mauritius over 500 m;
formerly in all forested parts of island.
Extremely endangered; population in 1991 was some 15 to 20 birds, of which only
three were hen; cause is clearing of virgin forest; also introduced plants and
animals such as pigs, deer, monkeys, rats, mynah birds and Ring-necked Parakeets,
which destroy habitat or compete for food. Population in 2003 about 250 in the
wild; Birds are also caught for breeding and releasing the Juveniles.
Found singly, in pairs or small groups; never comes down to ground; trusting;
can be approached as close as 3 m; flies several kilometres in search of food;
rests at midday and preens feathers; at this time occasionally gathers on tall
trees; mutual feeding, preening, billing and cooing has been observed throughout
year; shortly before dusk they fly around in group; then noisy and unsettled;
roosts at night in secluded trees with thick foliage; also roosts occasionally
in tree hollows; call disyllabic.
diet: Buds, leaves, young shoots, fruits, seeds, flowers,
bark and sap; fruit proportion 93% from January to August.
Breeding season from August to January; copulation mostly observed September and
October; pairs have fixed territories; nonetheless little squabbling or disputes
between pairs when they meet; courtship display similar to Ring-necked Parakeet
(Psittacula krameri); nests in tall, dominating trees; prefers Calophyllum,
Canarium, Mimusops and Sideroxylon; nest located mostly in horizontal branches;
entrance hole 10 to 15 cm and sheltered from rain water; chamber usually 20 cm
wide and 50 cm deep; clutch 2 to 3 eggs; incubation 22 to 24 days; young initially
fed by cock; hen also forages for food for young from third week; young fledge
by end of February at latest; remain two or three months with parents; assistance
from unpartnered cock also possible.
Medium-noisy parakeet; susceptible; all birds held in captivity have always died
after one to two years; probably very similar in behaviour to Ring-necked Parakeet
Various fruit, seeds of local plants, buds and leaves, small seed mix of safflower,
millet, hemp, oats and canary grass; millet spray.
2 - 3 eggs.
22 -24 days.
Achieved for releasing into the wild.