Echo Parakeet (Psittacula eques)

The Echo Parakeet (Psittacula eques), also known as Mauritius parakeet, is the only extant parrot endemic to the Mascarene Islands in the southern Indian Ocean. Its local name is katover

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In the early 1980s, this parakeet was almost extinct. The roughly 10 birds that were left had hardly ever bred successfully since the early 1970s due to lack of suitable trees, nest predation,  disturbance by humans and feral pigs and deer, and competition with more plentiful bird species including the introduced rose-ringed parakeet. The Mauritius parakeet seemed doomed to extinction.

But with the team of Carl Jones (of Mauritius kestrel and Last Chance to See fame) taking over, a dedicated research and conservation effort was launched to save the birds. By the late 1980s, the situation had stabilized – though at a precariously low level – and more young birds were being hatched. By the mid-1990s, some 50–60 individuals were known altogether (including young birds) and an intensive management of the wild population by the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation could begin. These efforts paid off handsomely; by January 2000, the population had exceeded 100 birds total.  Since then, the rapid recovery has continued. The total wild population is presently some 280-300 individuals of which some 200 are adult, half of which being breeding pairs and most of the other half single males.

Echo Parakeets can only be found in Black River Gorges National Park in Mauritius.  The best place to see them is about a 5 km walk down a fairly easy trail from the eastern entrance gate.



World Parrot Trust


Mauritian Wildlife Foundation

Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust