Date: 01 May 2009 Source: Office of the Minister of Conservation
Associate Minister of Conservation Kate Wilkinson will embark on a hands-on inspection of the Kakapo Recovery Programme on Whenua Hou (Codfish Island) this weekend.
The programme has been boosted with the addition of 33 chicks following a successful 2008/2009 breeding season, taking the official population of the endangered native parrot to 124.
"It's a real treat to get the opportunity to see how the programme is working and observe the kakapo in their habitat," Ms Wilkinson says.
"Those involved in the recovery programme are doing an amazing job, particularly the huge number of volunteers who spend countless hours caring for nests and kakapo chicks in the breeding season.
"The new chicks offer a real life-line to the survival of the kakapo, as 40 percent of the population have been in the programme since its founding in 1995 and are now over breeding age."
Ms Wilkinson will head to Whenua Hou, near Stewart Island, on Saturday and stay overnight with Department of Conservation staff and volunteers.
The island is subject to strict quarantine measures, meaning all the clothing worn by visitors needs to be specially sanitised.