A reappraisal of the Orange-fronted Parakeet ( Cyanoramphus sp.) - species or colour morph?
|Title||A reappraisal of the Orange-fronted Parakeet ( Cyanoramphus sp.) - species or colour morph?|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||1998|
|Type of Article||paper|
|Keywords||Cyanoramphus, genetics, Orange-fronted Parakeet, polymorphism, taxonomy, Yellow-crowned Parakeet|
Uncertainty still surrounds the status of the Orange-fronted Parakeet, Cyanoramphus malherbi. Doubts first raised in 1974 that it was merely a colour morph of the much more common Yellow-crowned Parakeet, C. auriceps, were supported by a morphometric study of museum specimens in 1981, and the results of cross-breeding experiments with wild-caught and aviary birds in 1986. Subsequently, the Orange-fronted Parakeet was deleted from the most recent Checklist of the Birds of New Zealand. However, some researchers and conservation managers remain unconvinced, because of doubts raised by electrophoresis of blood proteins, and claimed differences in the orange-fronted bird's size, behaviour and ecology. This paper reviews the topic, discusses the evidence and arguments in the species versus colour morph controversy, and supports the view that the 2 forms are colour morphs of a single species.