Seychelles parakeet

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Seychelles parakeet
Illustration of a male by John Gerrard Keulemans, 1907

Extinct  (1883) (IUCN 3.1)[1]
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Psittacidae
Genus: Psittacula
Species: P. wardi
Binomial name
Psittacula wardi
(E. Newton, 1867)
Seychelles in its region (small islands magnified).svg
Location of the Seychelles

The Seychelles parakeet (Psittacula wardi) occurred in the Indian Ocean islands of the Seychelles group. It resembled the Alexandrine parakeet but was smaller and lacked the pink colour in its collar. The species is suspected to have become extinct due to intense persecution by farmers and coconut plantation owners.


Illustration of a male and female by Keulemans, 1876

It was endemic to Mahé and Silhouette and was once sighted on Praslin.[2] It was rare when described even in 1867. The last specimens were collected by Warry in 1881, and the last birds recorded in captivity on Silhouette in 1883. Ten specimens exist today.[3] The species was extinct by 1906 when Nicoll visited the island. It seems to have been affected by the felling of forests to make way for coconut plantations, and died out as a result of being killed by farmers protecting their maize crops.[4]

Phylogenetic studies suggest that the species diverged from the Alexandrine parakeet through isolation of populations that dispersed through the Indian Subcontinent into Seychelles about 11 million years ago when sea levels were much lower.[5]

The following cladogram shows the phylogenetic position of the Seychelles parakeet, according to Jackson et al., 2015:[6]

Psittacula eupatria nipalensis (Nepalese Alexandrine parakeet)

Psittacula eupatria eupatria (Alexandrine parakeet)

Psittacula wardi (Seychelles parakeet)

Psittacula eupatria siamensis (Siamese Alexandrine parakeet)

Psittacula eupatria magnirostris (Andaman Islands Alexandrine parakeet)


The Seychelles parakeet was a medium-sized parrot with a length of about 41 cm (16.1 in). It was green with a large red beak, a red shoulder patch and a long tail. The male had a narrow black cheek-band and black collar which the female and juvenile lacked.[7]

Behaviour and ecology[edit]

Psittacula wardi was endemic to Mahé and Silhouette, Seychelles, with a sight record from Praslin.[4]

The Seychelles parakeet is believed to have had a diet of bugs found in the bushes or trees,[8] and probably also consumed fruit and seeds.[4]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Psittacula wardi". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Newton, E. (1876). "XXVII.-On the psittaci of the Mascarene Islands". Ibis. 18 (3): 281–289. doi:10.1111/j.1474-919X.1876.tb06925.x. 
  3. ^ Hume, Julian (2007). "Reappraisal of the parrots (Aves: Psittacidae) from the Mascarene Islands, with comments on their ecology, morphology, and affinities" (PDF). Zootaxa. Retrieved 30 October 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c "Seychelles Parakeet Psittacula wardi". Species account. BirdLife International. Retrieved 30 October 2016. 
  5. ^ Kundu S; Jones CG; Prys-Jones RP; Groombridge JJ (2012). "The evolution of the Indian Ocean parrots (Psittaciformes): extinction, adaptive radiation and eustacy.". Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 62 (1): 296–305. PMID 22019932. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2011.09.025. 
  6. ^ Jackson, H.; Jones, C. G.; Agapow, P. M.; Tatayah, V.; Groombridge, J. J. (2015). "Micro-evolutionary diversification among Indian Ocean parrots: temporal and spatial changes in phylogenetic diversity as a consequence of extinction and invasion". Ibis. 157 (3): 496–510. doi:10.1111/ibi.12275. 
  7. ^ Joseph M. Forshaw (2010). Parrots of the World. Princeton University Press. p. 310. ISBN 1-4008-3620-4. 
  8. ^ Newton, E. (1867). "On the land-birds of the Seychelles archipelago". Ibis. 9 (3): 335. doi:10.1111/j.1474-919X.1867.tb06435.x. 

External links[edit]