How Kakapos (the Fattest Parrot In the World) Escaped Extinction

By Josie  July 25th, 2023

This iconic species narrowly escaped extinction; only 51 Kakapos remained in 1995.

Let's backtrack their journey!

The Kakapo is native to New Zealand and is renowned as the fattest parrot globally, weighing almost 9 pounds!

What sets the Kakapo apart is its flightlessness, compensated by strong legs and excellent climbing abilities.

14th Century - Arrival of the Maori

The Maori people hunted them for their meat, skin, and feathers, leading to a decline in their numbers.

The Europeans cleared land for agriculture, leading to a further reduction in their habitats.

19th Century - Arrival of Europeans

It wasn’t until 1995, when only 51 Kakapos remained, that conservationists recognized the severity of the situation.

The Edge of Extinction

Today, there is a glimmer of hope for the Kakapo, with the current population standing at 208 individuals!

The remaining Kakapos were relocated to five off-shore, predator-free islands, and intensive conservation efforts were launched.

How They Escaped Extinction

Nests are closely observed 24/7, and eggs are often removed for artificial incubation to ensure the chicks’ survival.

All birds are privy to an annual and complete health check to make sure they are free from parasites and diseases and take blood samples.

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