28 Jun 2019

Kākāpō waiting game

From Kākāpō Files, 6:00 pm on 28 June 2019

Seven hand-reared kākāpō chicks have been released into the wild on Whenua Hou / Codfish Island, where they are doing well.

They are the oldest kākāpō chicks from this bumper breeding season. There are currently 72 living kākāpō chicks.

There are no new deaths in the aspergillosis disease outbreak which has claimed the lives of two adults and five chicks. Staff from the Kākāpō Recovery Programme at the Department of Conservation and zoo vets around the country are playing a waiting game, as a number of chicks and adults continue to be treated for the severe infection.

DOC is increasingly confident that they have identified all sick birds, as growing numbers of kākāpō mums sent to vet hospitals for CT scans are returning to Whenua Hou with clean bills of health.

Daryl Eason, from the Department of Conservation's Kākāpō Recovery programme, watches on as hand-reared chicks Tūmanako (formerly Tiwhiri-2-A) and Marama-1-A learn to eat different native plants as they prepare for their release into the wild.

Daryl Eason, from the Department of Conservation's Kākāpō Recovery programme, watches on as hand-reared chicks Tūmanako (formerly Tiwhiri-2-A) and Marama-1-A learn to eat different native plants as they prepare for their release into the wild. Photo: RNZ / Alison Ballance

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If you would like to know more about kākāpō you can follow the Kākāpō Recovery Programme on Facebook and Instagram. Kākāpō scientist Andrew Digby and Kākāpō Files producer Alison Ballance are on Twitter.

Find the full kākāpō story in the book Kākāpō – rescued from the brink of extinction by Alison Ballance (2018).

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