Kakapos – the world’s fattest species of parrot – have had their most successful breeding season on record, according to our Department of Conservation (DOC).
The flightless, nocturnal parrots were once one of the NZ’s most common birds, but only 147 adults are left. This year, 76 chicks have been hatched under the DOC’s conservation scheme, with 60 expected to reach adulthood.
The new batch is more than double that of the last breeding season in 2016.
Until the 1970s, Kakapos were thought to be extinct but a group was discovered on Stewart Island, just 18 were known to exist by 1977, but DOC has spearheaded efforts to boost its population on two remote, predator-free islands.
Under the scheme, all newborn kakapo chicks are raised in a secure facility and later released into the wild, tagged with a transmitter. Each parrot also has its nest fitted with sensors and cameras, and is given a tailored diet via nearby feeding stations.
“They don’t get a lot of privacy,” Dr Digby said.
“I can log online and see what they’re doing, see who they’ve mated with, how long for, and even the quality of the mating.
“It’s probably one of the most intensively managed species in the world, certainly in New Zealand.”
Source: BBC News
Image: New Zealand department of conservation