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Chatham kaka
Temporal range: Holocene
Chatham Kaka, Nestor chathamensis, by Hannah Moss 2019.12.16.png
Artist's reconstruction
Conservation status
Extinct  (between 1550 and 1700)
Scientific classification
Genus:
Nestor
Species:
chathamensis

The Chatham kaka or Chatham Island kaka (Nestor chathamensis) is an extinct parrot species previously found on the Chatham Islands, New Zealand. The first individuals were thought to belong to the kaka (Nestor meridionalis), but detailed examination of the subfossil bones showed that they actually belong to a separate endemic species. The species became extinct within the first 150 years of the arrival of the Polynesians around 1550, long before any European settlers. No skins or descriptions are available.

Taxonomy

The Chatham kaka is assigned to the genus Nestor in the family Nestoridae, a small group of parrot species native to New Zealand. It is considered to have been more closely related to the kaka (Nestor meridionalis) and the extinct Norfolk kaka (Nestor productus) than to the kea (Nestor notabilis).

Ecology

The Chatham kaka was a forest dwelling species of about the same size as the North Island subspecies of the kaka, Nestor meridionalis septentrionalis. However, it had a much broader pelvis, enlarged legs, and a beak that was intermediate between kea and kaka. It had no natural predators (it was bigger than the New Zealand falcon) and, as is often observed with such island endemics, it is believed to have been a poor flyer.

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