Saturday, July 29, 2023

The Release of the Endangered Kākāpō

Now you may never heard of the Kākāpō. It is a flightless Parrot, native to New Zealand. But, like most large flightless birds on island, it was driven to extinction. Usually large flightless and yummy birds, think the Dodo, are eaten into extinction.

There was a lot of that with the Kākāpō, but it was mainly driven extinct by feral cats, rats, and other introduced predators. Worse, the Kākāpō's coping mechanism was designed against birds of prey. They fall over and play dead.

Such a strategy does not work with humans. Or cats. And so they were wiped out and all extinct by 1980. Bu scientists found a population on an uninhabited island in the south of the country. The transferred a few to other islands, where they have done well. 

Now, the North Island (with most of the people) have cleared a large area of predators, built some containment fences and released the first Kākāpōs on the mainland in over 40 years. Cool!

Unfortunately for them, Kākāpō are not afraid of humans

Hard to spot in the wild.

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