Paul W. Rankin

My new favourite animal, the Kākāpō.

The kakapo is a large, nocturnal, flightless, lek-breeding parrot — a real oddity. It is also critically endangered, and the focus of considerable conservation attention. Before humans arrived it was common throughout New Zealand’s forests, but predation by introduced mammals brought it to the brink of extinction — a low point of about 50 birds only in the mid 1990s. The transfer of the whole population to predator-free islands and intensive intervention in every stage of its life has led to a steady increase in numbers.

Kakapo have no close relatives.
New Zealand Birds Online

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Adopt a Kākāpō

In the news

Vets perform world-first brain surgery on critically endangered kakapo chick in NZ

New Zealand veterinarians have performed world-first brain surgery to save the life of a critically endangered native parrot chick.

Key points:


Congratulations to the Kākāpō for winning Te Manu Rongonui o Te Tau/Bird of the Year!

These critically endangered “moss chickens” used to live throughout Aotearoa, but today they only survive on predator free islands. Thanks to intensive conservations efforts, the Kākāpō have come back from the edge of extinction. Their numbers have grown from just 50 birds in the 1990s, to 213 individuals today.


Huge eco-sanctuary on the cards for Wainuiomata

The hills above the Hutt Valley could become the first mainland home for the nationally critical kākāpo, with plans on the table to build a massive, fenced eco-sanctuary.

The Greater Wellington Regional Council is considering a proposal that would fence-off 3350 hectares of native bush behind the suburb of Wainuiomata to create a “threatened species sanctuary”.