Friday, September 19, 2008

Kakapo - World's Only Flightless Parrot - Endangered Species

Six billion people, only 91 kakapo....

The kakapo, the world's only flightless parrot, is an endangered species. By 1995 there were only 50 individuals left, located on Stewart Island, and under threat from invasive pests such as feral cats and rats.

The surviving kakapo were transferred by the Department of Conservation to Codfish Island (Whenua Hou), off Stewart Island, as part of a recovery programme for the species. Before the kakapo could be relocated, rat eradication had to be successfully completed in 1998.

In 2002, 24 chicks were born on Codfish Island, 4 in 2005, and a further seven in early 2008. Kakapo breeding and chick rearing depend on the "masting" or heavy crop of fruit from rimu trees every 3 to 5 years. This year the fruit did not ripen and as in some past years the chicks have been hand-reared to ensure their survival.

The following documentary traces the re-introduction of kakapo to Chalky Island, off Fiordland. Learn more about the Kakapo Recovery Programme here.

Kakapo - New Zealand documentary April 2003

One recovery underway. One short term success. New Zealand needs many more successes, as does the world...

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