Kakapo in Maori means “night parrot”. Occurs on several islands off the coast of New Zealand.
The kakapo parrot, like other species of New Zealand birds, has been historically important to the Maori, the indigenous people of New Zealand, as evidenced by its presence in many traditional legends and folklore.
This was also associated with the use of these parrots as a raw material by the Maori, their meat as well as feathers, from which highly valued garments were made. Rarely, kakapo were kept as pets.
In the past, kakapo were a very desirable object as a museum exhibit.
Thousands of kakapos have been captured and distributed to museums around the world.
Kakapo is critically endangered; the total known adult population is 197 living individuals, all named and tagged.
Since April 2012, the surviving kakapo have been kept on predator-free islands of Codfish, Anchor Island and Little Barrier Island, where they are monitored.
It is the world’s only flightless parrot, the world’s heaviest parrot, and is also nocturnal, herbivorous.
Kakapo has a well-developed sense of smell, which is related to its nocturnal lifestyle. These parrots can recognize many scents while foraging. One of the most unusual characteristics of cocoa is its strong smell, often described as musty. The intense scent often attracts predators, exposing the largely defenseless bird to danger.
These parrots are loners, living separately outside the breeding season.
They are mainly nocturnal. During the day they rest hidden in trees or on the ground, and move around their territory at night.
Although kakapos cannot fly, they are excellent climbers; they can climb the crowns of the tallest trees.
The loss of the ability to fly forced the development of strong legs. The bird often moves in a kind of fast trot, with which it can move for many kilometers.
The breeding system of these birds looks interesting. Males gather in small groups in the arena and compete with each other to attract females. Females listen for male competition. They choose a partner based on the quality of his show. They are not pressured by the males in any overt way. No bond is formed between the partners — males and females meet only for the time of copulation.
The educational campaign and efforts made to protect the kakapo have made the species well known. Many books and documentaries detail the Kakapo’s plight.
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