Kakapo

General birdwatching discussion, help with bird identification, and all other things relating to wild birds and birding in NZ that don't fit in one of the other forums.
miscatonic
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2022 10:28 pm

Kakapo

Postby miscatonic » Sat Aug 06, 2022 10:34 pm

Hi,

I am planning a birding trip to New Zealand and am deeply fascinated by the kakapo.

So simply:
Is there any way to hear or see the kakapo in the wild (2023)?
fras444
Posts: 234
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:06 pm

Re: Kakapo

Postby fras444 » Sun Aug 07, 2022 9:52 am

Possibly hoping you are of some A class celeb fame infinite amount of $$$ and have contacts or part of some renound science degree and part of some massive study....
I'm guessing Codfish would be all but a dream... Little Barrier (same level as Codfish regarding access..) But if you are lucky, right place right time... You can do volunteer work on the island for two weeks.. We had three lots of volunteer groups when I worked on the island for three months.. But I've never heard any more about the Kakapo in any news feeds or the Littler barrier facebook page.. I would say that there is so much potential for Kakapo on Little Barrier...

Codfish does the odd volunteer work I believe...

Unless you are willing to volunteer for a week at least or part of a study group... Kakapo would have to be one of New Zealands hardest bird to actually bird spot being only in very exclusive places...

You'd have more luck finding the once extinct Takahae and NZ storm water petrel or the most rarest endemic species in New Zealand, the Fairy Tern or the rarest "native species" the Australian woodduck...

Where is Sirocco now btw..
Jan
Posts: 1741
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 10:43 am
Location: Christchurch

Re: Kakapo

Postby Jan » Sun Aug 07, 2022 1:46 pm

I feel for this person, having lived here for 42 yrs now and never seen a live Kakapo while the youngest MP in the Green Party gets to play with them several times and isn't even an ornithologist! Them's the.....pits. Yes I could have gone to Codfish and monitored a nest, or travelled to some showing Sirrocco was doing, [never in Chch to my understanding]. It would be very good for the public understanding of endangered birds if a few 'ambassador Kakapo' were available for viewing in some major centres as has been mooted recently. Now there are more individuals, some might be suitable? In bird sanctuaries maybe? Orana Park? Willowbank?
fras444
Posts: 234
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:06 pm

Re: Kakapo

Postby fras444 » Sun Aug 07, 2022 9:53 pm

Jan wrote:I feel for this person, having lived here for 42 yrs now and never seen a live Kakapo while the youngest MP in the Green Party gets to play with them several times and isn't even an ornithologist! Them's the.....pits. Yes I could have gone to Codfish and monitored a nest, or travelled to some showing Sirrocco was doing, [never in Chch to my understanding]. It would be very good for the public understanding of endangered birds if a few 'ambassador Kakapo' were available for viewing in some major centres as has been mooted recently. Now there are more individuals, some might be suitable? In bird sanctuaries maybe? Orana Park? Willowbank?



I was so fortunate to see on in the "wild" well, it was in a holding pen, awaiting the helicopter when one needed medical assistance asap while I was on Little Barrier. Never realised how lucky I was.. She lived btw, had that infection that currently plays havoc with the species.

It wasn't until this post was made and you comment that it hit me...
The Kakapo would have to be one, if not, the only species of bird in NZ, second would have to be 'funnily enough' a resident on the main kakapo breeding island.. The South Georgian /Whenua Hou diving petrel. Where no-one apart from only a select few, are able to see these birds in the wild... Even the rarest species in New Zealand, the fairy tern can be seen by anyone (well they are an hours drive from the largest settlement in New Zealand..) Takahe, once thought extinct and when found, was in a critical state. You can now basically camp right next to them... Motutapu and Tawharanui.

While I may believe in the very loose concept of zoos.
Some zoos actually do some good, like New Zealand, where our local conservation zoo bred efforts actually get released into the wild. I still feel for the absolutely bord to death kiwi, going up and down the same bit of glass so those who will never see them can see them...
Zoo's basically a selection of key (Lions, Elephants, Tigers etc...) individual animals or a pair that suffer/sacrifice/ambassador for education and plight of their entire species.
The concept that these animals are or will form part of a massive international breeding program and they or their offspring would be released should they become extinct in the wild. That part I really don't believe in and for roaming species, especially birds like eagles, vultures and most soaring birds... It is quite hard to see them in those small aviaries

The kakapo would have to be the only endemic critically endangered land bird not to be found in any of the many 'conservation' zoos around the country.. You wonder with a few older individuals that are no longer breeding, even a breeding pair near it's retirement, there could be an option to have them in captivity at a public place such as Auckland or Wellington.. If a few of these "retired birds" breed while at these zoos.. That's a win right??

One thing New Zealand doesn't really have, I think Auckland is big, and so is Hamilton. But a real decent full flight aviary. There is a real good one in Kuala Lumpur where birds actually get to stretch their wings.. I think it would be epic if someone or one of those zoos... Hamilton with all the land... Built one of these

https://www.klbirdpark.com/attractdetail/Zone_1

I mean Zealandia, Maungatawhiri and the likes do a great job and being open air sanctuary... the ultimate freedom... But something like this would be slightly more accessible and open it up to everyone. You could do night tours and see the kiwi and kakapo at night and in the day time, it houses basically every endemic land bird in New Zealand excluding falcons for obvious reasons.. But you could almost get a way with a morpork... maybe.. and maybe a couple of shags, some herons including the Nankeen, could even be a launch program for Grey duck recovery...
There is a aviary in Melbourne zoo that even has shags in it!!!
User avatar
Steve Wood
Posts: 322
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 6:57 pm

Re: Kakapo

Postby Steve Wood » Mon Aug 08, 2022 7:24 am

Don’t forget the Auckland Island rail ! - this also on the unavailable list and a stunning little bird that only a select few will have the privilege of seeing.
User avatar
David Riddell
Posts: 923
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 3:46 pm

Re: Kakapo

Postby David Riddell » Mon Aug 08, 2022 12:39 pm

A bit of a long shot, and several hurdles to get over before this one is even a possibility, but there are plans to put kakapo on Maungatautari, perhaps as early as this year. That all depends on how trials to kakapo-proof their fence goes. Not sure if you're aware on NZ's predator-proof fences miscatonic, but there are several areas here which have fences around them designed to keep out all exotic mammals (though mice are often a bit tricky). The biggest of these is Maungatautari in the Waikato, which has a 47 km fence enclosing 3400 ha. (There's a smaller sub-enclosure of about 80 ha which I suspect is where the kakapo would be released at first). The only problem with putting kakapo there is that kakapo can climb, even if they can't fly, so keeping them inside the fence and out of harm's way might be tricky. But if the trials are successful, and if kakapo do get put on the mountain, then it may be just possible to go on one of the sanctuary's nocturnal tours and at least hear a kakapo in the almost-wild.
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/waikato-news ... QKHHDSON4/
https://www.sanctuarymountain.co.nz/home
andrewcrossland
Posts: 1932
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:29 pm
Location: Christchurch

Re: Kakapo

Postby andrewcrossland » Mon Aug 08, 2022 1:01 pm

Wasn’t there talk once of swapping a pair of kakapo for a pair of pandas?
miscatonic
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2022 10:28 pm

Re: Kakapo

Postby miscatonic » Tue Aug 09, 2022 5:30 am

Thanks a lot for all the answers, I live on the opposite side of the world (Sweden) and I've passed the age where volunteering seems like something I would do. :)
I will keep an eye out for Maungatautari and hope for a reintroduction there.
Cheers!
User avatar
Oscar Thomas
Posts: 721
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2011 7:15 pm
Location: Dunedin
Contact:

Re: Kakapo

Postby Oscar Thomas » Wed Aug 10, 2022 12:55 am

My friend Katy Rossiter volunteered on Anchor Island with Kākāpō Recovery earlier this year and has put together this wonderful podcast 'From the Brink', with episode 1 entirely about kākāpō and her experiences. It is a nice way of following along and almost feeling like you are there too, well worth a listen for anyone less familiar with them.

https://open.spotify.com/show/54UYn3656 ... 233525496a

Return to “General Birding Discussion”