Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Kakapo Rakiura flies south to new home

Kakapo Rakiura flies south to new home

Rakiura, a young kakapo being treated at Auckland Zoo for the past three months, flies south today in good health to start a new life on Anchor Island in Fiordland.

Following an early morning Air New Zealand flight to Invercargill, Rakiura has a road trip to Te Anau then a helicopter flight to Anchor Island where 44 other kakapo live. She is expected to be settled in to a patch of forest by nightfall.

The 10-year-old female, previously on Codfish Island and one of eight kakapo relocated to Hauturu Island (Little Barrier) last year, was brought in to Auckland Zoo in October to be treated for weight loss and cloacitis – commonly referred to as “crusty bum”.

“We had already treated Rakiura for a mild form of cloacitis prior to her move to Hauturu in May. But in October rangers on the island noticed her transmitter wasn’t moving, and tracked her down to discover she’d lost considerable weight and had a much worse case of this infection,” says the Zoo’s senior vet in research and conservation, Dr Richard Jakob-Hoff.

“Despite extensive diagnostics the cause of the cloacitis remains a mystery. We’re still waiting on the results of DNA tests for viral and bacterial organisms present, and will compare these with those of healthy kakapo to see if we can identify the causal organisms for what we think is a bacterial infection.

“In the meantime, she’s good to go. Her blood cell count is normal, the infection has cleared up, and she now weighs a healthy 1.6kg. We’ll all really miss her though. Kakapo are extraordinary birds and Rakiura is no exception,” says Dr Jakob-Hoff.

Rakiura is one of just 125 kakapo in the world, and Kakapo Recovery Programme manager, Deidre Vercoe Scott, says rangers based on Anchor Island will be keeping a close eye on her health.

"Given Rakiura has had cloacitis before, it's possible she may have a reoccurrence so she'll be monitored closely. In the meantime we will continue to work closely with the Auckland Zoo in a bid to better understand this condition,” says Ms Vercoe Scott.

Kakapo Fast Facts

• The kakapo or ‘night parrot’ is flightless, and the world’s heaviest parrot. Unique to New Zealand, it was pushed toward extinction by human colonisation and the introduction of rats, stoats and possums

• By 1995, only 50 kakapo were known to exist. Today there are 125 kakapo being managed by the Department of Conservation on Whenua Hou (Codfish Island) near Stewart Island, on Anchor Island in Fiordland, and on Hauturu (Little Barrier) Island in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park.

• Seven kakapo are living on Hauturu Island, including Rakiura’s mother Flossie. These kakapo are all fitted with tracking devices so rangers can monitor them. The move to Hauturu is a trial to determine whether kakapo can breed on their own without supplementary feeding now that rats are no longer present. (Rats were eradicated from Hauturu in 2004).


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Gordon Campbell: On John Key’s Trip To Iraq

In the embedded press coverage on this trip, the absence so far of any evaluation of the wider context of what New Zealand thinks it is doing at Camp Taji has been striking. More>>


Labour: Parata Puts Brakes On Charter School Appraisal

“When the Ministry of Education recommended they compare the achievements of children at charter schools to those of their counterparts at state schools, the documents show Hekia Parata specifically prohibited them from doing so." More>>


Bad Day For Universities: Gun, Bomb Threats On Three Campuses

Dunedin Police are continuing their investigation into the threat made against the University of Otago. Staff are following a number of lines of inquiry, and police are working to verify the authenticity and source of the post. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Deal Reached In Atlanta

Yes, the TPP has helped to knock a few points off the tariffs facing our exporters. Yet some of those alleged dollar gains may well have been made regardless over time – and without the negative baggage of the concessions in the non-trade areas (intellectual property, copyright extensions, investor-state dispute mechanisms etc) that the TPP deal also brings in its wake. More>> (Cartoon by Dave Wolland)

Public Summaries:


Wellington.Scoop: Serco – First The Prisons, And Now It Wants To Run The Trains

As the government continues its inquiry into Serco’s discredited administration of Mt Eden prison in Auckland, here in Wellington there’s further scrutiny of the British outsourcing company – because it’s competing to take over the running of our commuter trains. More>>


Pre-Signing: Gordon Campbell On The TPP Countdown

To date, the Key government has been unwilling to share any information about this TPP deal until it is too late for outraged public opinion to affect the outcome... the disclosure process is likely to consist of a similarly skewed and careful exercise in spin. More>>


Australia Deportations: English Relaxed On Immigration Centre Conditions

Labour's Annette King: “There have been numerous reports from inside these detention centres on just how bad conditions are... If they were being held in any other foreign jail, I imagine Mr English would be somewhat concerned. More>>


Schools: Achievement-Based Funding Would Be A Disaster

The Education Minister’s speech to the PPTA Conference raising the spectre of achievement data driving a new funding system would be disastrous, says NZEI Te Riu Roa. More>>

  • Video Out-Link - PPTA Annual Conference 2015 on Livestream (Q+A dicussion suggests funding would be directed to less successful schools.)

  • ALSO:

    ECE Report:

    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news