Indian ring-necked parakeets in NZ: Reporting and identification

Small groups of Indian ring-necked parakeets have been spotted in 2 separate areas of the North Island. One near the St Lukes/Mt Albert area in Auckland and another around Havelock North. The birds are a threat to our native birds, bats, and crops. Find out what we're doing and how you can help.

Risk to New Zealand from the parakeets

yellow and green Indian ringneck parakeets on feeder
Yellow and green parakeets.

 

Indian ring-necked parakeets threaten our native birds and bats by:

  • competing for food
  • taking nesting places
  • introducing diseases.

They're also well-known agricultural pests of cereal and fruit crops.

And they are known to nest in and cause damage to city buildings.

If you see these parakeets in the wild, phone MPI's pest and disease hotline – 0800 80 99 66.

 

Areas where the parakeets have been seen

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Auckland (St Lukes/Mt Albert) situation report

Find out what we're doing and how you can help.

What's happened?

In September 2019, a population of Indian ring-necked parakeets (also known as rose-ringed parakeets) were observed by a member of the public near the St Lukes shopping centre in Auckland. As a result, Biosecurity New Zealand is leading a response to track down and remove these feral birds from the wild. These birds are an Unwanted Organism and need to be managed to protect our native species and horticultural industries.  

Indian ring-necked parakeets are natives of Africa and India and are commonly held as captive pets in New Zealand. The small population is believed to be the result of caged birds escaping or being released.

What's being done?

It's important to act fast before the parakeets breed and spread to other areas. Biosecurity New Zealand will be undertaking surveillance in the area to track down these pests and remove them from the wild in a humane manner. These activities are being undertaken in partnership with the Department of Conservation and the Auckland Council. All activities are being undertaken with public health and safety in mind.

How you can help

If you see any of these birds in the wild call the MPI pest and disease hotline on 0800 80 99 66.

When making a report, tell us:

  • the number of birds
  • where you saw them
  • the time of your sighting
  • what direction they were flying (if airborne)
  • what they were doing
  • their colouring.

Take photos if you can. It will help with identification.

Do you own parakeets?

If you have Indian ring-necked parakeets as pets:

  • take care that they don't escape
  • don't release them into the wild.
  • have their wings clipped regularly

If you no longer want your pet bird, or can't care for it, contact your local bird club or pet store. Releasing them into the wild is an offence under the Biosecurity Act 1993.

A map showing where the parakeets were seen

Havelock North situation report

Find out what we're doing and how you can help.

What happened?

In 2015, a population of Indian ring-necked parakeets (also known as rose-ringed parakeets) established in the Hikutaia area in the Thames-Coromandel district of the North Island. The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) worked with the Department of Conservation and the Waikato Regional Council to manage the population and these birds were successfully removed from the wild in 2016.

In 2016, public reporting confirmed the presence of an additional separate small population in Havelock North in the Hawkes Bay region. The population was managed at the time of detection.

In 2019, more recent sightings in the same area (Havelock North) suggest there may be a population of up to 12 birds. MPI is working with partners and local residents to locate the remaining individuals and remove them from the wild.

Indian ring-necked parakeets are natives of Africa and India and are commonly held as captive pets in New Zealand. The small population is believed to be the result of caged birds escaping or being released.

What's being done?

MPI is working with partners to locate these birds and remove them from the wild. It's important to act fast before the parakeets breed and spread to other areas.

How you can help

If you see any of these birds in the wild call the MPI pest and disease hotline on 0800 80 99 66.

When making a report, tell us:

  • the number of birds
  • where you saw them
  • the time of your sighting
  • what direction they were flying (if airborne)
  • what they were doing
  • their colouring.

Take photos if you can. It will help with identification.

Do you own parakeets?

If you have Indian ring-necked parakeets as pets:

  • take care that they don't escape
  • don't release them into the wild.
  • have their wings clipped regularly

If you no longer want your pet bird, or can't care for it, contact your local bird club or pet store. Releasing them into the wild is an offence under the Biosecurity Act 1993.

Spotting Indian ring-necked parakeets

 

Yellow and green parakeets sitting on tree branches and in-flight with wings spread.

 

Identifying the parakeets

These small parrots are about 40cm from their head to the tip of their tail. The birds in St Luke’s (Auckland) have been seen in fruit trees in the area.  These birds can be a variety of colours, including green, yellow, grey, or blue.

Most male birds have a black line around their neck. Females and young birds do not have this marking.

How to report sightings

When making a report, tell us:

  • the number of birds
  • where you saw them
  • the time of your sighting
  • what direction they were flying (if airborne)
  • what they were doing
  • their colouring.

Take photos if you can. It will help with identification.

Who to contact

Report sightings of these birds in the wild to MPI – phone 0800 80 99 66.

Do you own parakeets?

If you have Indian ring-necked parakeets as pets:

  • take care that they don't escape
  • don't release them into the wild.
  • have their wings clipped regularly.

If you no longer want your pet bird, or can't care for it, contact your local bird club or pet store. Releasing them into the wild is an offence under the Biosecurity Act 1993.

Find out more

2016 media release – Hunt for pest birds goes high-tech

Find out about stopping pets becoming pests

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