22 Mar 2019

Kotahitanga and kākāpō

From Kākāpō Files, 7:00 pm on 22 March 2019

The number of living kākāpō chicks has risen to 64, with plenty more due to hatch in the next few days.

Among the chicks is one that hatched early in the morning of Saturday 16 March 2019, the day after the mass terror shooting in Christchurch. The Kākāpō Recovery Team has named that chick Kotahitanga, meaning unity or solidarity.

Kotahitanga’s mother is eight-year-old Waikawa, who has laid an incredible eight fertile eggs this breeding season, adding to four fertile eggs she laid in in the last breeding season in 2016.

Kākāpō foster mum, Hauturu, with three rapidly growing chicks in a nest on Anchor Island in Fiordland. She was happy to chew on a couple of almonds offered to her by a kākāpō ranger.

Kākāpō foster mum, Hauturu, with three rapidly growing chicks in a nest on Anchor Island in Fiordland. She was happy to chew on a couple of almonds offered to her by a kākāpō ranger. Photo: Brodie Philp / DOC

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The total number of chicks hatched in this year’s bumper kākāpō breeding season is 71, and there have been 7 chick deaths.

As of early evening on 22 March, there are a further four eggs pipping and about to hatch.

Find out more

If you would like to know more about kākāpō you can follow the Kākāpō Recovery Programme on Facebook and Instagram. Kākāpō scientist Andrew Digby and Kākāpō Files producer Alison Ballance are on Twitter.

Find the full kākāpō story in the book Kākāpō – rescued from the brink of extinction by Alison Ballance (2018).

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