Parrot Conservation and The Kakapo Parrot of NZ

parrot conservation and the kakapo parrot

Parrot Conservation and Wild Kakapo Parrot Research

The Kakapo Parrot, also known as the Owl Parrot, is the heaviest parrot in the world.  Two other features make it extraordinary; it is also the only flightless parrot and the only nocturnal parrot known to man.  Native to New Zealand, the Kakapo Parrots, are critcally endangered.  As of November 16,  2009, there were 124 Kakapo Parrots in the wild.  With such a low gene pool, recovering this unusual, almost prehistoric parrot species has been difficult.

How did this unique parrot become so endangered?  Prior to settlement, Native New Zealand had two mammals on the islands, bats.  Obviously not predators of the Kakapo Parrot.  With the introduction of the Polynesian peoples and European settlers, came predatory mammals such as rats, ferrets, cats, dogs and more.  The flightless, fearless Kakapoo parrot was defenseless against new mammals.  Not only that, the unusual parrots simply did not even know that they had to retreat from these foreign mammals.  Polynesian and European settlers prized Kakapo feathers and skin, as well as their meat.  Records show that European settlers sent the first found Kakap0 skin to England for examination.  The 1889 study found the Kakapo parrot to be the oldest, least developed parrot known to man, which only made collection of taxidermy specimens of this precious parrot more popular; diminishing their wild numbers yet further. 


Kakapo. His name is Felix and he was not an ea...

Kakapo. His name is Felix and he was not an easy capture for his annual condition check. Endemic to New Zealand. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By 1952, New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs became alarmed with the diminishing Kakapo Parrot population and thereby started  conservation efforts.  New Zealand terrain and mammal predators make recovery efforts of this beutiful parrot difficult, at best.  Wild parrots had to be moved to outlaying islands.  Kakapo Parrot recovery efforts thankfully have an international appeal.  PLEASE visit the KAKAPO RECOVERY PROGRAMME to find out what you can do to insure the Kapako Parrots’ survival.

So you want to help the Kakapo Parrot Recovery Programme, but you’re not sure how?

Well, the best opportunity as an individual is through fyour inancial support AND SPREADING THE WORD, . Saving endangered species is an expensive, long term business.

Please Donate any amount:

  • $100 buys disease screening for one bird
  • $250 buys a radio tracking aerial
  • $1000 buys a portable incubator
  • $1600 buys a radio-telemetry receiver

NO amount is too small – any donation will go directly towards kakapo parrot recovery – thank you SO much for your generosity!


Send a cheque:

The Kakapo Recovery Programme
c/- PO Box 631
Wellington 6140
New Zealand

Please ensure you include your name and address if you would like to receive a donation receipt.

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About Diane Burroughs

Diane Burroughs, founded in 1998. A bird lover who is owned by African Grey's, a Moluccan, a Parrotlet and a Red-Bellied Parrot, Diane is dedicated to improving the lives of pet birds with vet-approved parrot tested supplies and expert bird care articles.


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