The world's fattest, most flightless parrot species has just enjoyed an amazing baby boom, and conservationists are thrilled.
Although they used to be one of the most common birds in New Zealand, there are currently only 147 live kākāpō.
Previously it was thought that the species was extinct until a small population was found on an island south of the mainland in the 1970s. Over the following decades, its population gradually increased from 18 birds in 1977 to 50 in the mid-1990s, according to The Guardian.
The kākāpō only reproduce every two or four years, when the rimu trees produce fruit in what is known as a mast year. The last year of the mast, in 2016, recorded a record of 34 birds added to the population.
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This month, however, scientists were delighted with the arrival of 76 new chicks, which is more than double the previous record number of offspring.
"It's absolutely huge, it's huge," said Dr. Andrew Digby, scientific advisor to the kākāpō recovery program of the Department of Conservation. The Guardian.
"In the last two seasons there have been huge amounts of fruit that have not been seen for 50 years, so all the female kākāpō know it's time to breed, and they actually started much earlier than usual, which means that some Now they have been able to nest twice. "
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A temporary hand-raising facility was installed in Invercargill to help care for the most vulnerable offspring this season, providing a unique opportunity for people to see a kākāpō before they are returned to their insect-free island homes. predators
In previous years, visits to the public were carried out over longer periods, but as the offspring and their mothers performed well on the islands, installation was not required for the same period of time this year.
"Kākāpō are [a cultural treasure] for all New Zealanders and we are very excited to share their success with the public this year, "says kākāpō defense ranger Bronnie Jeynes.
"With all the rimu fruit available, the chicks are really thriving on the islands this year. For the first time in recent memory, we were able to put three chicks in a nest! It's a very exciting time. "
(CLOCK this adorable and happy dance of this kākāpō in the video below)
I speak of the #conservation of two of the rarest and most unusual birds in the world. Come and see the videos and photos of rare birds; Stay for science! #kakapo #takahe #NEW ZEALAND pic.twitter.com/qVhrRYzMiw
– Dr Andrew Digby (@takapodigs) October 12, 2018
Fly the good news to your friends by sharing them on social networks – Main picture by Don Merton / Department of Conservation (NZ)