Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Saving The Remarkable Kakapo Bird From Extinction

Date:
August 29, 2007
Source:
University Of Glasgow
Summary:
One of the strangest and most endangered birds in the world, the kakapo, is being brought back from the brink of extinction. The largest of all parrot species, flightless, nocturnal and plant-eating, the kakapo used to be found all over New Zealand. But ecological changes, habitat clearance and the introduction of predatory mammals combined to cause a catastrophic decline in numbers to only 51 in 1995.

The largest of all parrot species, flightless, nocturnal and plant-eating, the kakapo is being helped back from the brink of extinction.
Credit: Image courtesy of University Of Glasgow

One of the strangest and most endangered birds in the world, the kakapo, is being brought back from the brink of extinction with the help of scientists from the University of Glasgow.

Related Articles


The largest of all parrot species, flightless, nocturnal and plant-eating, the kakapo used to be found all over New Zealand. But ecological changes, habitat clearance and the introduction of predatory mammals combined to cause a catastrophic decline in numbers to only 51 in 1995.

Another factor in their near extinction is that kakapo breed infrequently. This is because they rear their young on the fruits of native trees. These trees - pink pine and rimu – only fruit every 2-6 years and kakapo only breed on those occasions. During the lean years in between, the kakapo’s natural diet consists of coarse leaves, grasses and herbs which lack adequate nutrients for the rearing of chicks.

Environmental and Evolutionary Biologists at the University of Glasgow, working with New Zealand’s Department of Conservation, produced a dietary supplement with the aim of boosting egg production of the few remaining kakapo.

University of Glasgow Professor of Zoology David Houston, said: “Kakapo had been reluctant to breed, and when we analysed their food we suspected that it was their diet that was to blame. Egg laying is a demanding time for all birds, and they need to have certain essential nutrients in their food if they are to lay good quality eggs.

We experimentally fed Kakapo a specially made supplement, with all the nutrients that we thought they were missing from their natural diet, to see if this would improve their breeding. Results showed that female birds that took the specially formulated food pellets laid significantly more eggs than those that did not. In 2002, the first year in which the new diet was trialled, they laid a total of 67 eggs.

Kakapo are still critically endangered, and because they breed only infrequently their recovery will be slow. But this research is a boost to the ongoing Kakapo Recovery Plan, and brings the saving of the species one stage closer to success.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Glasgow. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Glasgow. "Saving The Remarkable Kakapo Bird From Extinction." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 August 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070824220755.htm>.
University Of Glasgow. (2007, August 29). Saving The Remarkable Kakapo Bird From Extinction. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070824220755.htm
University Of Glasgow. "Saving The Remarkable Kakapo Bird From Extinction." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070824220755.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) How to make a pumpkin pom-pom. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goofy Dinosaur Blends Barney and Jar Jar Binks

Goofy Dinosaur Blends Barney and Jar Jar Binks

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) A collection of dinosaur bones reveal a creature that is far more weird and goofy-looking than scientists originally thought when they found just the arm bones nearly 50 years ago, according to a new report in the journal Nature. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins