[76], The kakapo is associated with a rich tradition of Māori folklore and beliefs. Kakapo eggs usually hatch within 30 days,[43] bearing fluffy grey chicks that are quite helpless. [40] The young chicks are just as vulnerable to predators as the eggs, and young have been killed by many of the same predators that attack adults. Each court consists of one or more saucer-shaped depressions or "bowls" dug in the ground by the male, up to 10 centimetres (4 in) deep and long enough to fit the half-metre length of the bird. [87] Cooking was done in a hāngi or in gourds of boiling oil. Twenty-eight males were found to average 2 kg (4.4 lb) in one study, and 39 males were found to average 2.06 kg (4.5 lb) in another. [19], The kakapo has a well-developed sense of smell, which complements its nocturnal lifestyle. [54] Beginning in the 1840s, Pākehā settlers cleared vast tracts of land for farming and grazing, further reducing kakapo habitat. Once a female enters the court of one of the males, the male performs a display in which he rocks from side to side and makes clicking noises with his beak. How Many Left? 2009: The total kakapo population rose to over 100 for the first time since monitoring began. Locomotion is often by way of a rapid "jog-like" gait by which it can move several kilometres. [52] One of its last refuges was rugged Fiordland. My aim with this website is to make public data more accessible to the average motoring enthusiast. To run along with. The common English name "kakapo" comes from the Māori "kākāpō", from kākā ("parrot") + pō ("night");[8] the name is both singular and plural. It is entirely herbivorous, eating native plants, seeds, fruits, pollen and even the sapwood of trees. [4] He turns his back to the female, spreads his wings in display and walks backwards towards her. [4] It uses its wings for balance and to break its fall when leaping from trees. How Many Left. The kakapo was a very successful species in pre-human New Zealand, and was well adapted to avoid the birds of prey which were their only predators. [50][89][91], Despite this, the kakapo was also regarded as an affectionate pet by the Māori. The amount eaten and individual weights are carefully monitored to ensure that optimum body condition is maintained.[42]. About 40 years ago, scientists feared there were only 18 left — all of them male. As well as the New Zealand falcon, there were two other birds of prey in pre-human New Zealand: Haast's eagle and Eyles' harrier. 2018: After the death of 3 birds, the population has been reduced to 149. [8][a] Its generic name Strigops is derived from the Ancient Greek strix, genitive strigos "owl", and ops "face", while its specific epithet habroptilus comes from habros "soft", and ptilon "feather". Find out about kākāpō conservation – present, past and future. However, the main goal is to establish at least one viable, self-sustaining, unmanaged population of kakapo as a functional component of the ecosystem in a protected habitat. In 1912, three kakapo were moved to another reserve, Kapiti Island, north-west of Wellington. One of them survived until at least 1936, despite the presence of feral cats for part of the intervening period.[57]. [95] Sirocco became the inspiration for a popular animated emoji frequently associated with the workflow application Slack. Around 30 million years ago, the kakapo diverged from the genus Nestor. [11], Within the Strigopoidea, the kakapo is placed in its own family, Strigopidae. [3], It has finely blotched yellow-green plumage, a distinct facial disc, a large grey beak, short legs, large feet, and relatively short wings and tail. One male bird was captured in the Milford area in 1975, christened "Richard Henry", and transferred to Maud Island. Breeding occurs only in years when trees mast (fruit heavily), providing a plentiful food supply. [50] Subfossil and midden deposits show that the bird was present throughout the North and South Island before and during early Māori times. A study in 1984 identified 25 plant species as kakapo food. [59], By the early 1970s, it was uncertain whether the kakapo was still an extant species. Kakapo defensive adaptations were no use, however, against the mammalian predators introduced to New Zealand by humans. See how many cars of any make and model are left on Britain's roads. In 1894, the government appointed Richard Henry as caretaker. 2. Because mother kakapo often struggle to successfully rear multiple chicks, Kakapo Recovery rangers will move chicks between nests as needed. [4] With only 3.3% of its mass made up of pectoral muscle, it is no surprise that the kakapo cannot use its wings to lift its heavy body off the ground. [36][34] The kakapo's adaptations to avoid avian predation have thus been useless against its new enemies, and the reason for its massive decline since the introduction of dogs, cats and mustelids (see Conservation: Human impact). Its optic tectum, nucleus rotundus, and entopallium are smaller in relation to its overall brain size than those of diurnal parrots. During breeding years, Kākāpō Recovery team experts go to great lengths to ensure as many chicks as possible survive. The kakapo (UK: / ˈ k ɑː k ə p oʊ / KAH-kə-poh, US: / ˌ k ɑː k ə ˈ p oʊ /- POH; from Māori: kākāpō, lit. Firstly, it has the smallest relative wing size of any parrot. The common ancestor of the kakapo and the genus Nestor became isolated from the remaining parrot species when New Zealand broke off from Gondwana, around 82 million years ago. Kakapo are large, flightless birds found only in New Zealand. [50], In breeding years, the loud booming calls of the males at their mating arenas made it easy for Māori hunting parties to track the kakapo down, and it was also hunted while feeding or when dust-bathing in dry weather. As you know, Quadrant2Design are the only British sponsors of the Kākāpō Recovery Programme. [6] The introduction of predators such as cats, rats, ferrets, and stoats during British colonisation almost wiped out the kakapo. Before Polynesian rats were removed from Whenua Hou, they were a threat to the survival of young kakapo. This may continue every night for three or four months during which time the male may lose half his body weight. [96], The kakapo was featured in the episode "Strange Islands" of the documentary series South Pacific, originally aired on 13 June 2009,[97] in the episode "Worlds Apart" of the series The Living Planet,[98] and in episode 3 of the BBC's New Zealand Earth's Mythical Islands. But, there is a Kākāpō Recovery Plan, and people are helping to save kākāpō from cats, rats, and stoats. By hand-raising the first group of chicks in captivity and encouraging females to lay more eggs, the Kakapo Recovery Team hoped that overall chick production would be increased. A female in good condition produces more male offspring (males have 30%–40% more body weight than females[4]).