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Huge Interest in Kakapo Chick Naming Auction


DATE: 05 September 2014


The first ever auction offering the chance to name a kakapo chick is drawing huge interest from bidders keen to support the recovery programme.

Kakapo Recovery is offering the highest bidder the chance to give Rakiura 3 his own name; one that reflects the mana of this critically endangered taonga species.
He's one of a total population of 126 kakapo and is living in the wild on Whenua Hou/Codfish Island, off the coast of Stewart Island.

After just four days, the auction listing on Trade Me has attracted more than 6600 views, almost 20 bids and a growing number of people keeping an eye on activity.

Kakapo Recovery advocacy ranger Karen Arnold said many people realised how special the opportunity was.

“Rakiura 3 is one of just six chicks to hatch and survive this year, following the first kakapo breeding season since 2011. Given that we’re not expecting breeding on either Whenua Hou/Codfish Island or Anchor Island this coming summer, naming opportunities are just as rare as this critically endangered species.”

Trade Me spokesman Jeff Hunkin said the listing had featured as a ‘cool auction’ on the site’s homepage which, along with its “sheer awesomeness”, had driven good activity.
“It’s had almost 7,000 views in just four days and has a bunch of good bidding happening and with several more days to go before it closes, it’s in top shape to deliver some good results for Kakapo Recovery.”

The auction winner will be asked to submit three to five preferred names to the naming committee, which is made up of representatives of the Kakapo Recovery team and iwi.

Proceeds from the auction will go directly to the Kakapo Recovery trust account, administered by Forest & Bird. The funds will go towards the management of kakapo health, supplementary food and transmitters.

The link to the auction:

For more information visit

Conservation in partnership:

DOC’s kākāpō recovery work is actively supported by a partnership involving New Zealand Aluminium Smelters Limited and Forest & Bird.

First signed 24 years ago, the agreement is DOC’s longest running conservation partnerships and has already injected more than $4 million towards breeding programmes, predator proof sanctuaries and innovative research for the flightless parrot. Add to that more than 1000 days of employee volunteer support carrying out maintenance work, supplementary feeding and nest minding.
When the partnership began there were only 49 Kakapo remaining.

Its long term kākāpō recovery goal is to have 150 females at three separate sites, one of which is self-sustaining.


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