30 October, 2011


Scientific Name: Strigops habroptila

Population Estimate: 131 individuals in 2011, Critically Endangered status

Range / Habitat: Used to be endemic throughout New Zealand. Now only on a few predator-free islands off the coast. Mating cycle dependent on one specific tree, the rimu, and its erratic fruiting cycle.

Field Notes: Large, nocturnal, flightless. Uses a lek system to mate, the only parrot or flightless bird to do so.

Personal Notes: Probably the only opportunity to see a Kakapo in our lifetimes, this was Sirocco on loan to Karori Wildlife Sanctuary in Wellington. The predator-free islands where Kakapo now live in the wild are closed to the public. For more information see http://www.kakaporecovery.org.nz/. Kakapo translates as "night parrot" or "owl parrot" in Maori.

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