From the New Zealand Herald:
Kakapo population breaks 100 mark
9:11AM Wednesday Mar 11, 2009
A long-running campaign to save the kakapo has hit a milestone with the population now confirmed at over 100, Conservation Minister Tim Groser said today.
The kakapo population has for decades been only in double figures, but a Department of Conservation kakapo recovery team set up over 20 years ago has been working to grow it.
Mr Groser said the recovery team had been watching a handful of chicks hatch on Codfish Island, off Stewart Island, over the past few days.
Those developments meant the world population of kakapo was now 103 – more than double the number of kakapo alive a little over a decade ago.
Mr Groser said the recovery team was expecting a bumper breeding season this year, with hopes of more than 30 chicks hatching in coming weeks.
Record year for kakapo breeding leads to kakapo chick relocation: here. And here.
Successful artificial insemination of Kakapo gives hope to critically endangered bird: here.
Kakapo chicks to benefit from baby incubators: here.
New Zealand: Who’s a clever boy then? [Kea] Parrot pinches passport: here.
Kakapo population exceeds 100 – A long running campaign to save Critically Endangered Kakapo Strigops habroptila has reached a new milestone recently with confirmation that the worlds population has cracked through the 100 mark. The Department of Conservation’s (New Zealand) Kakapo Recovery Team have been closely watching a total of 37 chicks born this year on Whenua Hou/Codfish Island – the Kakapo sanctuary off Stewart Island. The total number of birds now stands at 125 birds, which is more than double the total number of kakapo alive a little over a decade ago. Unfortunately not enough Rimu fruit had ripened on Codfish Island, and 21 kakapo chicks have been taken to a special hand-rearing facility to secure their chances of survival. Click to find out more.
Meet kakapo Sirocco this Conservation Week
Monday, 24 August 2009, 12:01 pm
Press Release: Department of Conservation
Meet kakapo Sirocco this Conservation Week
Aucklanders and visitors to Auckland will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet and learn all about the world’s rarest parrot when kakapo Sirocco visits Auckland Zoo in celebration of Conservation Week next month.
The Department of Conservation (DOC) and its Southern Islands Area kakapo team have joined forces with the zoo to create a unique evening experience from 14 – 23 September (6pm – 9pm) so that people can “get involved” and experience this nocturnal national treasure – one of only 124 kakapo in the world.
“Twelve-year-old Sirocco is one very special kakapo, and something of a conservation superstar. He had to be hand-raised as a chick, and through this developed a preference for human rather than kakapo company. His love of people has seen him become an important advocate for his species, and has enabled DOC to help tell the story of one of New Zealand’s greatest conservation challenges,” says DOC spokesperson Nic Vallance.
“Sirocco’s visit is our way of celebrating the thousands of hours that volunteers, rangers, vets, scientists and sponsors have put into maximising the survival chances of kakapo over the last 30 years,” says Ms Vallance.
Auckland Zoo, which provides veterinary support to the kakapo recovery team, and partners with DOC in many native species recovery programmes, is proud to be hosting this avian VIP.
“We’re delighted to be joining with DOC to offer zoo visitors a rare opportunity to see this extraordinary bird. Just 30 years ago the kakapo was on the brink of extinction. Now numbers continue to grow as a result of the incredible efforts of the kakapo recovery team. We hope that the experience will inspire everyone to get involved and play a part in protecting all our unique native wildlife,” says Auckland Zoo director, Jonathan Wilcken.
Along with guided tours to meet Sirocco, the 14 – 23 September evenings offer the opportunity to view screenings about kakapo and other native species that the zoo and DOC are involved in helping. There will be interactive displays, talks by rangers, vets and keepers, and the chance to chat with DOC and zoo staff involved in caring for kakapo and other national treasures, and to find out about ways to “get involved” in conservation activities. From 5.30pm, there will also be great dinner and beverage options available to purchase in the zoo’s entry plaza, including hangi-style vegetables and gourmet Kiwi barbecue food.
Tickets are limited to these evenings (conditions apply and are detailed at http://www.aucklandzoo.co.nz/kakapo). Pre-purchasing of tickets is essential. Tickets (allocated for specific tour times) are $20 for adults, $10 for children (aged 4 – 15 years) or $50 for a family (2 adults, 2 children). To pre-purchase tickets phone the Auckland Zoo Information Centre (09) 360 3805. For further details about Sirocco and his visit, http://www.aucklandzoo.conz; http://www.doc.govt.nz and http://www.kakaporecovery.org.nz
Forest & Bird names Hou the Kakapo chick – Forest & Bird (BirdLife Partner) has named ‘its’ Critically Endangered Kakapo [Strigops habroptilus] Hou in celebration of the bumper crop of Kakapo hatched last season. Last breeding season was a record one for the Kakapo, with 33 Kakapo chicks surviving, taking the total Kakapo population over the milestone 100 mark for the first time in decades – they now number 124.
Forest & Bird held a competition among its staff and supporters to name ‘its’ Kakapo, and the winning name was Hou – which means ‘fresh, recent or new’ and ‘feather’. The name also refers to Whenua Hou/Codfish Island, the offshore island on which the Kakapo chicks live, protected from the introduced predators that threaten them on the mainland.
Kakapo breeding to stretch DOC
SCOT MACKAY – The Southland Times
Last updated 05:00 03/11/2010
Southland Department of Conservation staff will be stretched to the limit this summer as they try to successfully breed kakapo on two islands.
DOC kakapo programme manager Deidre Vercoe said it was the first year the endangered species were expected to nest on two islands after successfully breeding on Codfish Island, west of Stewart Island, in the past.
DOC was hoping for 19 breeding nests on Codfish and up to seven on Anchor Island in Dusky Sound, which if successful would be the first breeding of kakapo in Fiordland in living memory, she said.
However, with just a handful of key people and limited funding DOC would be stretched to monitor the birds on both islands, and was looking at using electronic monitoring on Anchor Island this year instead of the traditional volunteers, Ms Vercoe said.
Previously DOC had put volunteers in tents beside kakapo nests on Codfish Island to monitor them, but the rugged terrain of Anchor Island and the cost of getting them there made it difficult and was the reason for the move to the technology, she said.
If breeding was successful on both islands it would mean more breeding seasons and a faster population growth, which would ease the pressure on staff, Ms Vercoe said.
Meanwhile, seven male birds were moved from Codfish Island last month to an undisclosed predator-free island to give the breeding kakapo more room and safety.
The males included older kakapo that were already well represented in the genetic population and juvenile males, which were often curious and could wander into the nest of a female and begin fighting, she said.
To prevent any harm they had been removed from the island, Ms Vercoe said.
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