Support
Subscribe
Subscribe to BirdNote

Sign up to receive a weekly email preview of the following week's shows!

Sign Up
Support BirdNote

Help BirdNote tell more stories, reach more people, and inspire action.

DONATE

You are here

New Zealand's Kakapo

A parrot that’s heavy, flightless, and really long-lived
© Jake Osborne View Large

The Kakapo of New Zealand is a kind of parrot, but one that doesn’t fly. At five pounds, it’s the world’s heaviest parrot. And like many parrots, it’s long-lived -- up to 90 years. Still, the species is highly endangered. These odd parrots evolved in an island world that lacked terrestrial predators. But all that changed when humans and their animals arrived. Now Kakapos are mostly consigned to a conservation recovery program on small islands that are free of predators. Things are looking up though…

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®  

New Zealand’s Kakapo

Written by Bob Sundstrom

This is BirdNote.

New Zealand is home to some very unusual birds—the kiwis for example. But none is more peculiar than the Kakapo. 

[Kakapo male call, https://www.doc.govt.nz/globalassets/documents/conservation/native-anima...

The Kakapo is a kind of parrot, but one that doesn’t fly. At five pounds, it’s the world’s heaviest parrot. But being heavy and flightless doesn’t stop a Kakapo from getting up a tree. It uses its strong claws and beak to grip the bark and pull itself up.

 [Kakapo female call, https://www.doc.govt.nz/globalassets/documents/conservation/native-anima...

Like many parrots, Kakapos are long-lived -- up to ninety years. Still, they’re highly endangered. These odd parrots evolved in an island world that lacked terrestrial predators. But all that changed when humans and their animals arrived. Now Kakapos are mostly consigned to a conservation recovery program on small islands that are free of predators.

Things are looking up though. The Kakapo population has grown 70% in the past five years. 
 
Even though there are only about 200 Kakapos out there, that’s still more than at any time in the past seventy years. The next challenge? Find more safe habitat for the growing population of these one-of-a-kind parrots.
 
[Kakapo male call, https://www.doc.govt.nz/globalassets/documents/conservation/native-anima...
 
For BirdNote, I’m Michael Stein
                                                             ###
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Sallie Bodie
Editor: Ashley Ahearn
Associate Producer: Ellen Blackstone
Assistant Producer: Mark Bramhill
Bird sounds courtesy of New Zealand Government Department of Conservation, https://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/native-animals/birds/birds-a-z/kakapo/
BirdNote’s theme was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
© 2020 BirdNote   March 2020     Narrator: Michael Stein
 
ID# kakapo-01-2020-03-18     kakapo-01
 
[lots of information at this site: https://www.doc.govt.nz/kakapo-recovery]
https://www.doc.govt.nz/news/media-releases/2019/kakapo-population-reach...
https://www.google.com/amp/s/phys.org/news/2015-11-rimu-berry-game-chang...

Home
Shows
Galleries
More