Patricia Latas's blog

The Future of Kakapo

My deep and heartful thanks and gratitude go to ALL members of the Kakapo Recovery Team. I was blessed to have an opportunity to return to Whenua Hou in 2014.I will always treasure the honor of meeting the kakapo, and hopefully, contributing to their futre in some tiny way.

Thank you to Artists for Conservation, who found it fitting to fund an expedition to Whenua Hou, and publish the plight and perils of the Kakapo.

Tiaho's story

Tiaho is another alumnus from the kakapo year 2009. Tiaho hatched 2009, Mother: Rakiura, Father: Whiskas.

 

He was a very sickly chick, and nearly died. He was treated for very serious respiratory infection, and returned to Whenua Hou upon recovery. Being a special case, and under care and observation, he spent most of his time near the ranger hut. He was very shy and rarely seen, but was known to feed from hoppers nearby.

 

Location

Whenua Hou, Southland, NZ
New Zealand

Hurrah for Huhana!

Huhana, a female Kakapo, hatched in 2009. This was a huge year for Kakapo Recovery Team, a bumper crop of 33 chicks!

 

At five years old, she is the youngest Kakapo mother recorded, and the first hand-reared chick to reproduce. Her mother is Esperance, active in this year--2014--breeding as well and the star of the internet nestcam; her father was Whiskas, recently deceased. Huhana had a rough start to her own life. She needed veterinary attention and surgery as a young chick, and was returned to Whenua Hou after healing.

Location

Whenua Hou, Southland, NZ
New Zealand

Penguins!

The Kakapo of Whenua Hou have other flightless birds as their neighbors. Penguins! Kakapo AND penguin tracks on the beach!

 

Who DOESN'T love penguins? Whenua Hou hosts breeding colonies of 3 species--the hohio/Yellow-eyed Penguin, the Korora/Little Penguin, and the Tawaki/Fiordlands Crested Penguin. And several other species are occasionally spotted.

 

http://yellow-eyedpenguin.org.nz/plants/other-sites

 

Location

Whenua Hou, Southlands, NZ
New Zealand

The Amazing Mottled Petrel!

Whenua Hou is an island treasure, and the key to the survival of more than just the Kakapo. There are many conservation studies based on this tiny speck of land, and one of the most amazing is the study and translocation of the Mottled Petrel.

 

Location

Whenua Hou, Southland, NZ
New Zealand

Maoris and the Kakapo: Iwi Perspective

 

 

Location

Whenua Hou, Codfish Island, Southland, New Zealand
New Zealand

Taogna

Artists for Conservation

Taogna was in trouble.

 

Taonga was hatched in 2011. A female kakapo chick is very valuable to the future of the kakapo as a species. As a three-year old chick, she was routinely monitored via her transmitter backpack and various weighing stations. A loss of weight was noted, and rangers were sent out to bring her back.

 

At the headquarters, she was examined and found to be severely underweright and in poor body condition. She was palced in the care facility, and a series of diagnostic tests were collected.

 

Location

Codfish Island, Southland, New Zealand
New Zealand

Chick Sketches

Here are a few sketches of Lisa 1 and Rakiura 2, taken from journal entries:

 

 

where it all begins

 

Location

Codfish Island, Southland, New Zealand
New Zealand

Beautiful Feathers!

Artists for Conservation

The kakapo is such a unique parrot. There are so many attributes that distinguish this species from all others. The lovely plumage is the first thing to be noticed.

 

Location

Codfish Island, Southland, New Zealand
New Zealand

Other Inhabitants of Whenua Hou

Artists for Conservation

Kakapo are the largest non-human terrestrial denizens of lovely Whenua Hou. But they have many interesting neighbors.

 

Prior to humans, birds were the dominant vertebrates on the New Zealand Continent. The only mammals, some small bats, were tiny in comparison to the giant moas and eagles that roamed the landscape. Kakapos were the most numerous parrot in the land, when humans arrived.

 

Location

Codfish Island, Southland, NZ
New Zealand
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