Puttin’ ‘Em Back in the Trees
A mammoth conservation effort stretching back decades is offering hope for one of the world’s rarest birds, the kakapo, lifting its numbers from about 50 in 1990 to 126 this year. The kakapo was once one of the most common birds in New Zealand. “There was a report from an early explorer, Charles Douglas, who said they were so populous you could shake them out of trees like apples,” Department of Conservation’s kakapo recovery programme head Deirdre Vercoe said. “The biggest breakthrough was putting all the birds together on predator-free islands and understanding how they breed while getting over [our] fear of intervening,” Vercoe said.