Lorikeet

Scientific Name: Riverbanks Zoo keeps several lorikeet species.

Description

The Lorikeets form a unique group of generally very colorful parrots with several distinctive characteristics. The principal difference from other groups of Parrots is their adaptation to a pollen, nectar and fruit diet. Lorikeets aren’t designed to grind seeds; they don’t have the necessary equipment, such as a strong, muscle-lined gizzard. Rather, they are possessed of a very agile, brush-like tongue for collecting nectar and pollen. They also consume a small proportion of insects, fruit and berries. Such adaptations, together with special digestive enzymes, allow them to effectively utilize their special diet. Lorikeets are notorious for the volume and liquid nature of their droppings.

Range

Regions of Australia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, New Zealand, New Caledonia Rainforest, open forest (highland and lowland), woodlands, heath, mangroves, gardens, parks, and orchards depending on species.

Status in the Wild

Several species of lory and lorikeet are endangered, threatened or vulnerable to extinction. The main threats are habitat loss, introduced predators (rats and cats) and collecting for the pet trade.

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