kakapo and Stewart Island

Subject: kakapo and Stewart Island
From: Lorne Johnson <>
Date: Fri, 14 Feb 2003 08:36:30 +1100
Last December I visited Stewart Island, which is off the southern tip of
NZ's South Island. There I saw saddleback, red-headed and yellow-headed
parakeets, robins, fantails, weka, kaka, tui, brown creeper, NZ Pigeon
and other interesting things, mainly on Ulva Island in Paterson Inlet. I
spoke to a woman who was the boss of the Department of Conservation team
on Stewart. I told her I'd always dreamed of seeing a wild kakapo since
being a child. Her immediate return was, "Even I don't get to see
kakapo." She'd seen one about ten years ago, when one turned up in Oban
(the main town of Stewart Island) in the hands of a conservation team
who were relocating the individual to a different island. Apparently,
nearly all the residents of Stewart (300 or so) came out to see the
bird. Even as DOC head in the area, she was not allowed access to the
bird (or so she said!), so I can imagine the species is really kept
under close watch.

Kakapo seem to be very intelligent and playful birds, and quite close to
human minders, according to a book examining the rearing of an
individual bird in captivity, I read in the Southland Museum in

David Attenborough's bit on kakapo in The Life of Birds was very
interesting. Douglas Adams' 'Last Chance to See' also has a good chapter
on kakapo.

Have a good day all. Peace and light,



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