Member Login



Auto-login for future visits

Join or Renew Today!

Membership Benefits:

Close Button

Project Regions:


 ( Strigops habroptilus)
Click photo to visit gallery

© Brent Barrett

Project Status: Current | 1995 - current


Kakapo Recovery, New Zealand Dept. of Conservation, New Zealand Parrot Trust

With a population of just 250, the Kākāpō is one of the rarest parrots on Earth.

The Kākāpō was once seen throughout North, South and Stewart Islands of New Zealand.  Its population plunged by >80% in a hundred years down to 18 birds, all males, in Fiordland in 1976. In 1977, a rapidly diminishing population of about 150 birds was discovered on Stewart Island. Its decline has been due to habitat clearance, hunting, low reproductive fertility and non-native predators.

How WPT makes an impact: The WPT is supporting intensive conservation efforts. Heroic actions by the NZ Dept of Conservation have helped to stabilize the species' population. In late 1995 a WPT advisor provided guidance on a supplementary diet for the birds, artificial insemination, male fertility, health monitoring, disease prevention and captive management. In the wild, there were some banner breeding years in the late 2010s, but these were tempered by recurring aspergillosis infections in adult birds. In 2018 WPT's New Zealand Parrot Trust arm began supporting new actions, including disease screening and GPS tracking.

IUCN/CITES Status: Critically Endangered / Appendix I

Population: 250

Vital statistics: Size: 65 cm (25.3 in) Weight: males 1.5-3.0 kg (52.5-105 oz); females 950 g-1.6 kg (31.6-56 oz).

Range: Is found on Anchor, Little Barrier, Maud and Codfish Islands, New Zealand.

Natural history: Is a flightless ground dweller of forest substrate and low scrubland from sea level to 1200 m (3938 ft). Feeds on leaves, roots, fruits, ferns, mosses, fungi and seeds; are also supplemented with dried rimu fruits, green walnuts, pine conelets and a concentrated commercial pellet. Is a lek breeder (males engaging in competitive displays); nest is a ground burrow. Breeding success depends on rimu fruit availability.

Programs & Projects

Projects by Status:

Projects by Type:

Sign Up to Stay Informed

Become A WPT Member