Seychelles parakeet

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Seychelles parakeet
1907 illustration by John Gerrard Keulemans

Extinct  (1883) (IUCN 3.1)[1]
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Psittaciformes
Superfamily: Psittacoidea
Family: Psittaculidae
Subfamily: Psittaculinae
Tribe: Psittaculini
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 from the 1700s

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.[2]

Seychelles parakeet at the top left

It was endemic to Mahé and Silhouette and was once sighted on Praslin. 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.

The following cladogram shows the phylogenetic position of the Seychelles parakeet, according to Jackson et al., 2015:[4]

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)

Behaviour and ecology[edit]

Psittacula wardi was endemic to Mahé and Silhouette, Seychelles, with a sight record from Praslin.[5]

The Seychelles parakeet had a diet of bugs found in the bushes or trees.[6]


  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. ^ 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. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2011.09.025. PMID 22019932. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ 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]