Collaboration Saves the Kākāpō from Extinction
“Kākāpō once lived throughout Aotearoa. Found nowhere else in the world, they have become a national icon, with their muppet-like faces and frequent silliness,” Pete McKenzie writes for National Geographic. But the birds, sometimes called owl parrots, are flightless and slow. “On the brink of extinction from imported predators, a few last kākāpō were evacuated to three tiny islets around New Zealand to live free from pests like cats and stoats. There, they also have the constant protection of conservation rangers, who operate under the watchful eye of Ngāi Tahu.”
“That collaboration has produced a miracle: the kākāpō population has quadrupled in number. To solve the overcrowding that resulted, ten birds were airlifted in July and September to Sanctuary Mountain,” McKenzie reports.
“Their story highlights the successes of New Zealand’s bird conservation programme, demonstrating how to marry Western and Indigenous conservation approaches, revive endangered species, and reintroduce them to their native land.”
Original article by Pete McKenzie, National Geographic, October 5, 2023.