The Kaka-beak, Clianthus puniceus, is listed as Endangered on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. It is named due to its striking clusters of red flowers which resemble the beak of the Kaka, a New Zealand parrot, and has a restricted range, occurring in scattered subpopulations from Northland to Hawkes Bay on New Zealand’s North Island. This assessment needs updating with greater clarity required on the numbers now left in the wild, which could possibly lead to a change in its current status.
The Kaka-beak is found in forest margins and flaxland, where it is threatened as a result of browsing by goats, pigs, deer and possums. In addition, this species is a popular ornamental plant with large, bright red flowers, and the illegal collection of seedlings has caused a notable decline in numbers in recent years. Only 200 plants are thought to remain in the wild. Many populations are also threatened by fire, weed control, natural succession, and the unstable, erosion prone nature of the habitats in which they are found.
There are currently no known conservation measures in place for the Kaka-beak, although most of the remaining individuals of this plant are known to occur within the boundaries of Te Urewera National Park.