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Carolina Parakeet

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Carolina Parakeet
Conservation status: Extinct (1918)
Missing image
Brd_CarPar_Audubon.jpg
Image:Brd CarPar Audubon.jpg


Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Psittaciformes
Family:Psittacidae
Genus:Conuropsis
Species:carolinensis
Binomial name
Conuropsis carolinensis
(Linneaus, 1758)

The Carolina Parakeet (Conuropsis carolinensis) was the only parrot species native to the eastern United States. It was found from the Ohio Valley to the Gulf of Mexico, and lived in old forests along rivers. It was the only extant species at the time classified in genus Conuropsis.

The Carolina Parakeet died out because of a number of different threats. To make space for more agricultural land, large areas of forest were cut down, taking away its living space. The colorful feathers (green body, yellow head, and red around the bill) were in demand as decorations in ladies' hats, and the birds were kept as pets. Even though the birds bred easily in captivity, little was done by owners to increase the population of tamed birds. Finally, they were killed in large numbers because farmers considered them a pest, although many farmers valued them for controlling invasive cockleburs.

A factor that contributed to their extinction was the unfortunate flocking behavior that led them to return immediately to a location where some of the birds had just been killed. This led to even more being shot by hunters as they gathered about the wounded and dead members of the flock.

The last wild specimen was killed in Florida in 1913, and the last captive bird died at the Cincinnati Zoo in 1918. This was the male specimen "Incas," who died within a year of his mate "Lady Jane."

See also: Extinct birds

External link

fr:Conure à tête jaune

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