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Three kakapo chicks and counting

21 March 2005

Three kakapo chicks and counting

The number of critically endangered kakapo in the world has increased by three, Conservation Minister Chris Carter announced today.

“I have been informed this morning by the National Kakapo Recovery Team on Whenua Hou (Codfish Island) that three kakapo chicks hatched during the weekend,” Mr Carter said.

“This is fantastic news and brings the kakapo population back up to 86 individuals, the level it was at prior to the loss of three birds to bacterial infection last year.

“We are poised on the brink of the largest kakapo population in 25 years because at least four more chicks are expected from the 25 eggs laid this breeding season.

“It appears that the new chicks and their mothers are doing fine,” Mr Carter said.

“I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the Department of Conservation and the kakapo programme’s sponsor, Comalco, for the brilliant work they have done with the kakapo. DOC is slowly and surely hauling this beautiful bird back from the brink of extinction, as it is quietly doing with so many species around the country.

“DOC does not always get the credit it deserves for its contribution to New Zealand’s environment and society, as was demonstrated by National Party leader Don Brash’s ill-informed attack on the department last week. It is times like this we realise how lucky we are to have a world-leading conservation agency,” Mr Carter said.

Background note:

The Kakapo Recovery Programme has been sponsored by Comalco since 1990, through the Treasured Species Trust administered by the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society, the New Zealand Conservation Authority and DOC. For more information, see DOC's Kakapo or www.kakaporecovery.org.nz


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