Abstract

A new extinct species of parrot, Eclectus infectus Steadman, is described from 21 bones from archaeological (late Holocene) and paleontological (late Pleistocene) sites on three islands in the Kingdom of Tonga, with limited referred material (ulna, tibiotarsus) from a late Holocene archaeological site on Malakula, Vanuatu. Probably, therefore, the range of E. infectus also included at least the intervening island group of Fiji. The extinction of E. infectus occurred since the arrival of people in this region ca. 3,000 yr ago and presumably was due to human impact. A single, very fragmentary parrot tibiotarsus from Rota (Mariana Islands) may pertain to an indeterminate species of Eclectus. The only extant species of Eclectus is E. roratus, which occurs from the Solomon Islands westward to the Moluccas. Eclectus infectus provides the first evidence of the genus east of the Solomon Islands, although its biogeographic implications are not unique. Within Oceania (outside New Zealand and the Hawaiian Islands), human activities have eliminated the easternmost species in at least 17 other genera of land birds.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-6188
Print ISSN
0030-8870
Pages
pp. 137-145
Launched on MUSE
2005-11-21
Open Access
No
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