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Stamp of Approval

Red Letter Day for Red Data Parakeets

The globally threatened parakeets of New Caledonia are celebrated in a set of three postage stamps, issued by Office des Postes et Telecommunications with The New Caledonian Ornithological Society (Société Calédonienne d’Ornithologie, SCO).

The Horned Parakeet Eunymphicus cornutus is endemic to New Caledonia and can be seen in most parts of the main island, where it feeds on seeds from the cones of the endemic species of Kauri pine, and other seeds and nuts. The species is classified by BirdLife as Endangered, because of its small population which is thought to be in long-term decline.

The closely-related Uvea Parakeet Eunymphicus uvaeensis (also Endangered) is found only on the tiny island of Uvea. Introduced bees have colonised its nest sites in hollow trees, and poachers destroy the nest holes to reach young birds for the pet trade. The species is confined to around 20 square kilometres of Uvea’s diminishing forest. As a result it is a priority conservation target for SCO (BirdLife in New Caledonia).

The New Caledonian Red-crowned Parakeet Cyanoramphus saisetti was only recently separated from other similar red-fronted parakeets found on Pacific islands and is currently classified as Near Threatened.

The stamps are available to buy online from the Service Philatelique Noumea web site at http://www.opt.nc. Or for further information mailto:philatelie@opt.nc

4th July 2014