Monday, April 7, 2014

Critically Endangered Kakapo Parrot Egg Survives Damage

Kakapo Parrot
An egg of the critically endangered kakapo parrot survived extensive damage thanks to the efforts of New Zealand conservation officials.

About The Kakapo Egg Discovery

Department of Conservation (DOC) officials discovered the crushed kakapo egg on Whenua Hou/ Codfish Island, near the southern tip of the country. Unfortunately, the egg was partially crushed, which was likely the result of it falling. Being that the kakapo is critically endangered, however, DOC officials attempted to repair the egg using glue and tape.

It should go without saying that this was their first attempt to repair a crushed egg using tape and glue. DOC officials believed there was a slim-to-none chance of the egg surviving, but against all odds, it survived and hatched to reveal a healthy kakapo chick.
"We only have five viable eggs on Whenua Hou and this one was the first laid. It was touch and go for a few days, but with the special care and expertise of our team, the dedication has paid off," said Deidre Vercoe Scott, manager for the DOC kakapo recovery program.

DOC officials named the new kakapo chick "Lisa One" and immediately placed it inside an incubator upon hatching. Lisa One is now receiving around-the-clock care, including regular feedings, weighings and physical examinations. Although Lisa One suggests the newly born chick is female, officials stated that they won't know the gender for at least another 2-3 weeks.

The kakapo is currently placed on the critically endangered list. As of March 2014, there are only 130 known to exist, making it one of the rarest parrots in the world. New Zealand DOC officials have an additional four kakapo eggs under their care, all of which are currently in incubators. The four kakapo eggs are expected to hatch in the upcoming weeks.

Kakapo Facts

You might be surprised to learn that kakapo is the only flightless parrot species in the world. Rather than flying, they hop to move around. Unfortunately, their lack of flight makes them vulnerable to predators like cats and stoats. Without the ability to fly, kakapos are unable to escape the grasps of New Zealand's predators.

The kakapo is also the only parrot species with a lek breeding system. Lek breeding systems are characterized by males gathering to engage in a competitive display in hopes of winning courting rights of nearby females.

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