Christmas 2010 with parrots from Norfolk Island

The Norfolk Island Post has issued a set of stamps dedicated to Christmas 2010 and to the Norfolk Green and Red Parrots.

The Norfolk Island Green Parrot (Cyanoramphus cookii)

This species of parrots is unique to Norfolk Island - the only place in the world where they naturally occur. In the late 1700s, Norfolk Island was covered in dense forests and there were hundreds of green parrots across the Island. The loss of habitat during the 1700 and 1800s to make way for human settlement and agriculture caused a rapid decline in green parrot numbers. In the early 1980s, there were fewer than 30 Norfolk Island green parrots left in the world, but their population has since increased to over 200 birds thanks to the success of the National Park's assisted wild breeding program and management of predators and competitors.

The Red Parrot (Crimson Rosella - Platycercus elegans)

The Red Parrot was introduced to Norfolk Island in the 1800s as a caged bird, but was set free to colonize the Island. They now occur in very large numbers across the island, where they compete with the Norfolk Island green parrot for nest sites, territory and food. As depicted in the stamps, this parrot has striking colors of red and blue - a very attractive parrot, but a challenge for wildlife managers on the Island.

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