03 April 2008

Kakapo - 91 and counting

Kakapo (Strigops habroptila), Critically Endangered

The critically endangered Kakapo is now five newly hatched chicks further away from extinction. The five chicks were recently hatched on Codfish Island a southern New Zealand island. The new hatchlings bring the world's total Kakapo population to 91, and if two more existing eggs hatch live chicks, it will rise to 93.

Part of the reason for the slow rise in Kakapo numbers, is that they only breed every three to five years. The breeding years are linked to years in which certain trees produce high yields of fruit. Scientists think that they may have found a way to mimic the conditions of these high fruit yields, by using some of the chemicals in the fruits themselves, that may trigger the birds to breed. If so, they may be able to increase the number of Kakapo eggs laid each year. For a more detailed explanation, check out this article.

Here's a video of a newly hatched Kakapo.

If you want to help save the Kakapo, you can donate or just become more informed.

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