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Jan 06

A-Z of Endangered Species – Kakapo

KakapoThis week I am featuring a bird for the second week running, this however is a very different bird to last weeks Japanese Crane. For the first time in my project I am heading down to New Zealand and a bird called the Kakapo. The Kakapo has some rather unusual qualities, it is a parrot but being one of the worlds largest and heaviest parrots it is unable to fly so it is a ground dwelling creature, The Kakapo is also a nocturnal bird so can usually only be seen at night.

Living only in the forests of New Zealand the Kakapo once thrived on the islands due to the fact that there are very few natural predators, this is also thought to be a reason why the bird lost its ability to fly, with no reason to escape from predators it stays on the ground all the time. Kakapo live surprisingly long lives, usually 50-60 years but some have lived to over 100 years.

The defenceless Kakapo has been suffering for many years, firstly from the local tribesmen who collected their feathers for their elaborate costumes, and then more recently from other predators such as cats and rat which were introduced by Europeans. As of January 2017 there are just 154 Kakapo left on the planet, that does seem like a very low number but recent years have seen a small population boom for the Kakapo so things might be looking up for them. One thing that amazes me is that every single one of the 154 Kakapo has a name, I quite like the sound of Robbie, a 15 year old male, he is the son of a female called Heather and a male called Sass, you can check out all their names here – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_kakapo

My main focus of this project is to bring awareness to the many species under threat and one way you can help is to share this post and any of the others from my A-Z series. To find out more about the work to help the Kakapo visit the Kakapo Recovery page here – http://kakaporecovery.org.nz/

If you would like to make a donation towards the WWF-UK then I have set up a Just giving donations page – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/EndangeredSpecies . 100% of the monies raised on the Just Giving page will go directly to the WWF-UK.

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