The rainbow lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus) is an Unwanted Organism under the Biosecurity Act, with an exemption for bird fanciers to hold and sell birds.
The rainbow lorikeet is one of the pests managed by MPI Biosecurity, in partnership with DOC and regional councils, under the National Interest Pest Response initiative which aims to prevent rainbow lorikeets from establishing in the wild.
Native to some parts of Australia, the rainbow lorikeet was illegally released in the 1990s. This dominant and prolific bird now poses a significant threat to our native wildlife by competing for food and nesting sites and carrying avian diseases.
Rainbow lorikeets look very similar to the more common eastern rosella. The main distinguishing feature is the lorikeets' blue head.
Find out about the rainbow lorikeet’s arrival and current legal status.
Dominant competitors and strong flyers, rainbow lorikeets pose a significant threat to our native wildlife.
DOC is involved in eliminating wild populations of rainbow lorikeets in New Zealand.
Find out what you can do to support the control of wild rainbow lorikeets in New Zealand.
CITES endangered species
DOC's 24 hour emergency hotline:
0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468)
Call to report sick or injured wildlife, and whale or dolphin strandings.