AFC Flag Expedition #14
In early April 2014, Pat Latas travels to Whenua Hou (Codfish Island), and other locations in New Zealand to observe the unique and highly endangered kakapo. There, she will spend approximately two weeks in the field studying, sketching and photographing, and observing conservation efforts, care, husbandry and management of the nesting season.
There are only 125 Kakapo left in the world. Pat will use her artistic talents to broaden the awareness nationally and internationally for the species, which doesn’t require a vast territory of unbroken rainforest. The needs of the species are modest and entirely possible to achieve. In the 1980’s the Kakapo Recovery through its efforts brought the species back from “extinction” to its present population. This was a huge success for the Kakapo and the Kakapo Recovery team. However the present day economics, funding for immeasurably important projects such as the recovery of unique and irreplaceable species such as the kakapo are disappearing. Recently major corporate funding was pulled from this project, and Kakapo Recovery relies more than ever on private donations and support. Loss of money at this crucial juncture will mean the end of a parrot that has no equivalent. Pat is an ambassador for the species aims to raise funds and generate support for the Kakapo Recovery team and the Kakapo.
This is one of the very few species of endangered birds that has a chance of thriving, if protected and nurtured in this early effort. Throughout her Flag Expedition Pat Latas will observe and illustrate the Kakapo, her previous experience as a volunteer nest-minder with the Kakapo Recovery Team during the 2011 nesting season gives her unique qualifications related to the protocols required for entrance on the restricted island, the equipment and procedures used for the nest-minding, feed-out, and routine maintenance of these birds, as well as her background as veterinarian will provide her with invaluable insight during participation with veterinary procedures.
- To complete field sketching; rendered illustrations (digital and physical); promotional materials for and through recovery efforts, social network publishing, cultural bridging; coloring books; guidebooks; scientific illustrations.
- Write a journal depicting the daily life of the Kakapo and those working to care for it.
- To use social media to raise awareness of conservation efforts, and funding.
- Produce illustrated websites, blogs, online books and publications, downloadable coloring books to reach a global community.
- Developed artwork for which a portion of the sales will be donated to the Kakapo Recovery effort.
- Use the networks in a scientific and intelligent manner to raise global awareness (and money) for very specific threatened and endangered species, and conservation programs dedicated to the Kakapo.
- Develop exhibits, presentations to local artists and conservation entities; articles and presentations to New Zealand Forest and Bird, iwi Ngāi Tahu.
- Increase a global development of awareness of the plight of threatened habitats, culture, sustainability in general and routes to conservation.
- Utilize the resulting body of artwork and scientific illustrations to advance knowledge within the scientific community.