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Kakapo deaths sad news for all New Zealanders

Kakapo deaths sad news for all New Zealanders

New Zealanders will be sad at the recent deaths of three juvenile kakapo on Te Kakahu (Chalky Island), Forest and Bird said today.

The kakapo were among 31 birds moved to Te Kakahu from Whenua Hou in an effort to improve breeding. However the three birds died from disease that may have come with them from Whenua Hou.

"Kakapo rely on the considerable dedication and skill of Department of Conservation staff for their survival. We really feel for these staff because we know how committed they are. These birds are like family to the people who protect them. We welcome their prompt action and hope they are able to soon identify the disease," Forest and Bird's Conservation Manager Kevin Hackwell said.

"With such a tiny population, every female kakapo is critically important to the survival of its species. This is a sad reminder of just how vulnerable they are," he said.

"Disease is a serious threat to New Zealand's wildlife. Native frogs are declining because of disease. Now it seems kakapo are similarly threatened. This highlights the importance of effective biosecurity to prevent new diseases from killing New Zealand remarkable wildlife," he said.

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