Christmas comes early for kākāpō
Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication.
IntroductionChristmas has come early for kākāpō this year as the Animal Health Board (AHB) has funded the purchase of a generator to be used during the breeding season on Anchor Island.
Date: 22 December 2010
Christmas has come early for kākāpō this year as the Animal Health Board (AHB) has funded the purchase of a generator to be used during the breeding season on Anchor Island.
The generator will be essential to the success of the first kākāpō breeding season on Anchor Island as it will power the incubation and hand rearing facility.
Department of Conservation acting Programme Manager Kākāpō Ron Moorhouse said the generous donation is a fantastic contribution to Kākāpō Recovery.
“It is vital that we have a generator on Anchor and this donation has allowed us to purchase one,” Mr Moorhouse said.
“This is the first breeding season on Anchor Island and will be the first time in living memory of having kākāpō breed in Fiordland so it’s a really exciting time.”
The AHB raised the funds for the generator at its annual staff charity auction this month and Chief Executive William McCook said it is a privilege to support the Kākāpō Recovery programme as it works to bring the species back from the brink of extinction.
“Our annual staff charity auction is a popular fundraiser and this year we topped $5,000 for the first time,” Mr McCook said.
“The amount raised this year speaks volumes for our employees’ strong conservation values and delight at being associated with the Kākāpō Recovery programme.”
Mr McCook said the donation to Kākāpō Recovery was an excellent fit as the AHB’s bovine tuberculosis pest control work generates complementary biodiversity benefits for native flora and fauna in New Zealand.
NZAS General Manager Ryan Cavanagh said the Kākāpō Recovery partnership is very grateful and delighted to see another organisation take an interest in this important conservation programme.
The incubation and hand rearing facility is critical to the success of kākāpō breeding. This facility allows rangers to monitor and care for kākāpō eggs and chicks if they are sick, underweight or if their mother is unable to care for them. This facility is housed inside a portacom, which will be powered by the new generator.
A similar facility has been used to incubate kākāpō eggs on Codfish Island (Whenua Hou) since 2002. Without this incubation unit, Mr Moorhouse said there would not be as many living kākāpō as there are today.
Conservation in partnership
DOC’s kākāpō recovery work is actively supported by a partnership involving Rio Tinto Alcan New Zealand Limited, New Zealand Aluminium Smelters Limited and Forest & Bird.
First signed over twenty years ago, the agreement is DOC’s longest running conservation partnership and has already contributed more than $3.5 million towards breeding programmes, predator proof sanctuaries and innovative research for the flightless parrot.
Its long-term goal is to have 150 females at three separate sites, one of which is self-sustaining.
Since the first signing of the partnership in 1990, New Zealand’s kākāpō population has risen from 49 to 122; a huge milestone that is also testimony to the effectiveness of the partnership.