Conservation project for kakapo will lose its general investor in following months

September 29th, 2015 | by LubosTomiska
Conservation project for kakapo will lose its general investor in following months
Conservation projects
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VIDEO IN – Kakapo is the only flightless parrot living on four offshore islands (Codfish, Chalky, Anchor and Maud) near to South Island, New Zealand. Because of loss of ability to fly it became threatened and now this species represents one of the most endangered parrot in the world. In 2012, last 126 individuals including 78 breeding adults were found in the wild. Although the population is starting slowly to increase now, it has been reduced by 80% in last 100 years.

Breeding biology of this bird is very interesting as Kakapo has lek breeding system. It means that males build special holes and perform the mating call around until some female answer it. Their reproductive success is based on abundance of fruits of rimu (Dacrydium cupressinum) and pink pine (Halocarpus biformis). Kakapo feeds on roots, nectar, fruit, stems and leaves.

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File:Strigops habroptilus 1.jpg

Kakapo Pura, a 1-year-old Kakapo (Strigops habroptila) on Codfish Island. (c) Mnolf. GNU Free Documentation License (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/en:GNU_Free_Documentation_License). This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en).

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Recovery plan is losing the sponsor

Coservation project has been supported for last 25 years by Southland-based New Zealand aluminium Smelter (NZAS). Unfortunately, the contract ends in this December and nobody is going to prolong it. NZAS spends about $ 200 000 annually for conservation of this species. Total expenses are about $ 1 million.

Conservation minister Maggie Barry said in written statement that everybody is actively working with NZAS to be sure that the project will be sufficiently funded also in future.

READ  Rapid growth of Kaka Parrot population in Zealandia wildlife sanctuary

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Forest & Bird also represents part of Kakapo conservation project. Its manager Kevin Hackwell confirms that NZAS was really important factor in saving of Kakapo.

“We’ve just recently lost BNZ from kiwi recovery, for example, and they have not been replaced either … Economies change, but the threat to the species doesn’t, and we need to make sure we have the basics covered all the time,” said Hackwell for Stuff.co.nz.

Labour conservation spokeswoman Ruth Dyson considers money comming from private sector as unreliable source.

“That’s always been my concern when previous conservation minister Nick Smith and now Maggie Barry have talked about partnerships … When the department becomes reliant on private-sector funding to fulfil its core function, it’s really problematic.“

So what’s the future of the only flightless parrot in the world?

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Title photo: Kakapo Pura on Codfish Island. (c) Mnolf This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled GNU Free Documentation License.

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