Evidence for assortative mating in sympatric populations of orange-fronted (Cyanoramphus malherbi) and yellow-crowned (C. auriceps) kākāriki
|Title||Evidence for assortative mating in sympatric populations of orange-fronted (Cyanoramphus malherbi) and yellow-crowned (C. auriceps) kākāriki|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2015|
|Authors||Kearvell, JC, Steeves, TE|
|Type of Article||Full Article|
|Keywords||assortative mating, conservation, Cyanoramphus, parakeet, translocation|
The remnant wild populations of the critically endangered orange-fronted kākāriki (Cyanoramphus malherbi) are restricted to 3 North Canterbury valleys where they co-occur with the yellow-crowned kākāriki (C. auriceps). Mixed pairs of Cyanoramphus kākāriki species have been documented throughout the genus, but the extent to which orange-fronted and yellow-crowned kākāriki mate assortatively, particularly when one species outnumbers the other, remains unclear. Here, we investigate the level of assortative mating between orange-fronted and yellow-crowned kākāriki. Based on 355 confirmed nests during 1999-2011, 99% (n = 351) were pure pairings and 1% (n = 4) were mixed pairings. With one exception, the ratio of orange-fronted to yellow-crowned kākāriki encountered during annual surveys ranged between zero and 0.78. These results indicate that the 2 congeners exhibit assortative mating, even when the orange-fronted kākāriki is outnumbered by yellow-crowned kākāriki. The low levels of mixed pairing we observed suggests that the reintroduction of orange-fronted kākāriki should not be precluded to sites where yellow-crowned kākāriki already occur.